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  • Piana del Sarno
  • Province di Napoli e di Salerno
  • Italy
  • Campania
  • Naples
  • Boscoreale



  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • The aim of this multidisciplinary research programme is to identify and document the sequence of paleo-environments on the Sarno plain. This coastal area of Campania registers a continual inter-reaction between ancient settlements, active volcanoes, particular hydro-geological regimes and climate variation. The very specific geo-environmental conditions in this area have led to the perfect preservation not only of archaeological sites of great interest, but also of paleo-environmental evidence which is difficult to find elsewhere. This ranges from evidence of ancient agricultural practices and deforestation, to channelling operations, evidence of ancient floods and paleo-riverbeds, variations in the coastline, ancient eruptions etc.

    The continued inter-reaction between man and the paleo-environmental sequence on the plain from at least the early Neolithic period onwards therefore constitutes the focal point of the project. The study makes use of the help of many scholars mainly from the fields of archaeology and earth sciences.

    The project began in autumn 2006. In this first phase basic studies relating to the GIS have begun such as the geo-referencing of aerial photographs from 1943-45, as well as some detailed studies regarding, for example, the reconstruction of the ancient land surface in 79 A.D., the analysis of Roman land surfaces in relation to the study of villae rusticae and agricultural land use, the provenance, transport and use of building materials and the reconstruction of the ancient road network. Geo-archaeological field work was undertaken during 2007 with a series of core samples taken near Pompeii.

    Moreover, the dendrochronological analysis of the wooden material from the site at Longola-Poggiomarino, which has been underway since 2004 at the dendrochronology laboratory at the central seat of the DAI, contributes to the development of an absolute chronology, to bettering knowledge of the forest ecosystem of the area under investigation, which is also useful for the extrapolation of reliable data regarding climate change.

  • Florian Seiler - Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Berlin 



  • Mark Robinson - University of Oxford
  • Pia Kastenmeier - Deutsches Archäologisches Institut - Zentrale di Berlino
  • Uwe Heußner - Deutsches Archaeologisches Institut Zentrale
  • Sebastian Vogel
  • Volker Heck
  • Wilfried Linder
  • Giovanni Di Maio
  • Michael Märker

Research Body

  • Autorità di Bacino del Sarno
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Zentrale (DAI)
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, laboratorio dendrocronologico
  • Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschatliche Fakultät, Geographisches Institut
  • Oxford University, Museum of Natural History
  • Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
  • Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Salerno, Avellino e Benevento
  • Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Polo delle Scienze e delle Tecnologie, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
  • Universität Potsdam, Institut für Geoökologie e Lehrstuhl für Landschaftsökologie und Bodenkunde

Funding Body


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