Maurizio Gatta

Research project

Research topic

Understanding Late Pleistocene landscapes of Central Italy: a multidisciplinary approach

Supervisors: Geoff Bailey & Penny Spikins

In recent years discoveries from environmental reconstructions have proved an important addition to prehistoric archeology, providing ways of looking at various aspects of the past.         

The Lazio region (Italy) was an extremely hospitable environment. Abundant evidence of a widespread human presence in the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic has been attested, showing a great adaptation and exploitation of the landscape. Despite this until now no one has undertaken a complete and comprehensive reconstruction of the late Pleistocene environment of Central Italy.

The aim of my project is to remedy this situation. To achieve this target a multidisciplinary approach will be used, making use of analysis and information from various branches of archaeology to present a wide picture of the late Pleistocene landscape of Central Italy.

Studies of lithics and fauna too often remain individually focused without being set within their wider context. Moreover, palaeoecological studies are rarely undertaken at all. They will all be equally important in my research.           

Through taxonomic and taphonomic analysis of the faunal remains, the study of the lithics and, where possible, the analysis of coprolites, the environment, flora and fauna of the region will be reconstructed, together with climate and the seasonality of plants. The human component will be analyzed through the geographical distribution of sites in their surrounding territory, attempting to understand the reason behind location choice and the relationship with wildlife, natural resources and mobility strategies across the land.

My work will also serve to revise previous excavation data, both from published sources and often neglected grey literature, evaluating it from a new perspective and combining the data with present and on-going excavations.

Knowledge of the environment is fundamental to understanding an archaeological site. The enormous potential of information resulting from this type of study, however, is not yet available everywhere. My intention is to try to provide this information for the context of the late Pleistocene Tyrrhenian coast of Central Italy.

Research Interests:

- Palaeolithic archaeology

- Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

- Landscape ecology

- Palaeocology

- Zooarchaeology

- Lithic technology

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Contact details

Maurizio Gatta
University of York
BioArCh, Environment Building
Wentworth Way
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: (44) 1904 328564