|Abstract: ||The main goal of this work is fill in gaps in the existing knowledge on the origins and spread of agriculture in Sardinia through the analyses of archaeological plant remains. Plant use (both domesticated and wild) have allowed exploring the subsistence system of the first farming communities in the island. More specifically, the main goals are: • Identification of the first domesticated plants in Sardinia (cereals, legumes and others) and investigate the pathways and time of agricultural adoption. • Recognizing the wild component in the diet of the first Neolithic communities. • Exploration of agrarian practices (harvesting, crop processing, etc). • Determination the role of Vitis vinifera L., in the past human subsistence. • Develop a model for the adoption and spread of agriculture in the island. In order to accomplish these objectives, plant remains from different sites and periods have been studied.
The material considered for this study is composed of seeds, fruits and other plant remains recovered from 12 archaeological sites.
As far as recovery techniques, archaeological contexts was systematically sampled following standardized protocols. Soil samples were floated so charred material have been separated from the soil fraction. Once in the lab, plant remains have been examined under the stereomicroscope and identified mainly with the help of a reference collection. Atlas of seed identification as well of specialized bibliography also were used. In addition,morphocolorimetric analyses were performed through image analyses to establish parameters for identification. Data obtained through the scanning of prehistoric seeds were integrated in the BG-SAR database.
The study of plant remains have offered the opportunity to explore agrarian practices and crop processing enabling, therefore, a deep insight into the way farming communities manage their crops and use plants for their subsistence going beyond the mere identification of plant species. This research made possible, therefore, to develop a model for the spread of plant cultivation in Sardinia hitherto unknown. The identification of wild plants have facilitated the study of the role of wild resources in human subsistence in Sardinia as a complement to the diet.
Furthermore, the diachronic study on plant use have added time depth to the analyses of human use of plants.
This work has 6 chapters. Chapter 1 exposes the state of the art on the origins and spread of agriculture in Italy. Chapter 2 presents an overview of the present state of research on prehistoric agriculture in Sardinia during the Neolithic. Chapter 3 presents the results of archaeobotanical analyzes from Chalcolithic period in Sardinia, the analysis have focused on the archaeological site of Canelles. Chapter 4 presents data on agriculture practiced in Sardinia during the Bronze Age, in particular, provides an overview on crop plants (cereals and pulses) during the the different periodizations of the Bronze Age in Sardinia. Chapter 5 presents data obtained from morphological comparisons of grape seeds found in the archaeological site of Sa Osa with the seeds of the modern cultivars and wild grapevine from Sardinia.|