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Titolo: Man, plant remains, diet: spread and ecology of Prunus L. in Sardinia
Data di pubblicazione: 30-mar-2016
Abstract: Archaeobotany offers the opportunity to explore the various practices related to the use of wild plants and understand how these have been selected for domestication. The identification of wild and cultivated plants could facilitate the understanding of the role they have in the subsistence economy and how this is strictly related to dietary habits. The main goals of this thesis are to interpret and understand the relation between human communities and the exploitation of plant resources in the past, thus understanding agricultural and alimentary behaviors in the present time. The genus Prunus has been selected because understudied in Sardinia from the archaeobotanical point of view but fairly widespread in the Mediterranean archaeological contexts. The application of image analysis technique for an adequate definition of the endocarp morpho-colorimetric and morphometric parameters represents an important diagnostic factor in the Prunus taxonomy studies and consequently may be helpful for the improvement of the management and in the enhancement of ancient fruit. The study of traditional varieties aims to create models of development, recovery and enhancement of ancient fruit. Also sets the basis for proposals for the recovery of cultural traditions and local economies. For the first time, it was possible to investigate about the morphology and morphometry of P. domestica endocarps of traditional local varieties from Sardinia. Endocarp morpho-colorimetric features, EFDs and Haralick’s descriptors obtained by image analysis allowed to implement a statistical classifier able to identify and classify the studied varieties of P. domestica, identifying plausible synonymy groups and confirming that the endocarp retain some characters directly related to the fruit skin color. The discovery of well-preserved waterlogged endocarps of P. domestica from the Phoenician-Punic settlement of Santa Giusta could be evidence that the introduction of primitive cultivated forms of plums in Sardinia have been introduced by the Phoenicians people. Moreover, these endocarps represent the oldest findings and they are the oldest evidence of cultivated plums in the western Mediterranean Basin. Finally, for the first time, it was possible to investigate through image analysis system about the morphology and morphometry of archaeological P. spinosa endocarps from Sardinia. These sites are currently the only finds of P. spinosa remains in waterlogged conditions documented in Sardinia by archaeological sources. Thanks to image analysis system it was possible to understand the hypothetical origin.
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