The Laboratory of Palynology and Palaeoecology develops archaeobotanical investigations of pre-historic and historic sequences. The research focuses expecially, though not only, on archaeological settlements from wet sites in northern Italy (pile dwellings and “terramare”). We concentrate on high-resolution pollen analysis and on fruit and seeds identification.


Archaeobotanical reseach on the pile dwelling of Lavagnone (Desenzano del Garda, BS, Italy): A research carried out in cooperation with the "Cattedra di Preistoria e Protostoria" of the University of Milano, lead by prof. Raffaele C. De Marinis. The archaeobotanical section is in charge to Renata Perego. The Lavagnone pile dwelling is located in a lacustrine depression, possibly a kettle-hole between morainic ridges, a few km south of Desenzano del Garda. The archaeobotanical investigation started in 2002; so far palynological and carpological data have been produced from the settlement period of the Early and Middle Bronze Age.

Informations about the archaeological research at Lavagnone are available at the web site of the Cattedra di Preistoria e Protostoria, Università degli Studi di Milano.

Publications and presentations:


ARPENTI E., RAVAZZI C., DEADDIS M. - “Il Lavagnone di Desenzano del Garda: analisi polliniche e informazioni paleoecologiche sui depositi lacustri durante le prime fasi di impianto dell’abitato (Antica età del Bronzo)". Notizie Archeologiche Bergomensi, VIII (2002): 1-22.


DE MARINIS R.C., RAVAZZI C., ARPENTI E., DEADDIS M., PEREGO R., RAPI M. - “Lavagnone (Desenzano del Garda): new excavations and palaeoecology of a Bronze Age pile dwelling in northern Italy”. Proceedings of the Conference WES ’04 – Wetland Economies and Societies. Zürich, 10 - 12 March, 2004.


PEREGO R., RAVAZZI C., ARPENTI E., BANINO R., DEADDIS M. - "Nuove ricerche archeobotaniche al sito del Lavagnone (Desenzano del Garda, BS)". Poster presented at the meeting reteMA_net. "I musei per l'archeologia lombarda: progetti, ricerche e collaborazioni scientifiche", 19 April 2007, Desenzano d. Garda (BS).

PEREGO R., KÜHN M., JACOMET S. - "New archaeobotanical data from northern italy: preliminary results from the bronze age site of Lavagnone (Desenzano del Garda, Brescia)". Poster presented at the 14th Symposium of the International Work Group for Palaeoethnobotany. Krakow, Poland, 17 - 23 June 2007.


PEREGO R., JACOMET S., KÜHN M., RAVAZZI C., WICK L., ZANON M., CINQUE M. - "Archaeobotanical analysis of Early Bronze Age layers in the pile-dwelling of Lavagnone (Desenzano del Garda, Northern Italy): comparison of macro- and microremains". Poster presented at the XII International Palynological Congress and VIII International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference. Bonn, Germany, 30 August - 5 September 2008.

KÜHN M., WICK L., PEREGO R., HEITZ A., JACOMET S. - "Analysis of plant macro- and microfossils in goat/sheep pellets from Neolithic and Bronze Age lake shore settlements in the Alpine region". (submitted to Vegetation History and Archaeobotany).


on the left: the picking of plant remains from a basket’s filling (above), Early Bronze Age layers of the Lavagnone deposit.

endocarps of Cornus mas

on the left: endocarps of Cornus mas gathered from cultural layers dated to the Early Bronze Age from Sector A in the excavations Lavagnone 2004

Pollen analysis of the votive pond of Noceto (Parma).

The votive pond of Noceto (late Middle Bronze Age) is filled by a laminate succession testifying to an interval of continuous lacustrine sedimentation. It represents a chance to reconstruct the natural environment, the cultural activities and the pasture land of the surrounding area. This research is developed in cooperation with prof. M. Cremaschi (Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Milano).


ACETI A., RAVAZZI C., VESCOVI E. - "Analisi pollinica della successione stratigrafica". In: Bernabò Brea M., Cremaschi M. (a cura di, 2009): Acqua e civiltà nelle terramare. La vasca votiva di Noceto. Università degli Studi di Milano & Skirà: 121-131.


above: the votive pond of Noceto (Parma)


above: a detail of the laminated lacustrine succession deposited in the votive pond

The origin of the mountain villages and Pre-Alpine meadows in the Lombardian Alps: evidences from natural archives: The written documentation does not provide much information about the early settlements and human activities in the mountains of Lombardy, before the historiography became established in these valleys (e.g. since about XIII century AD). We propose an approach based on the palaeoecological study of natural archives such as peat bogs, ponds used by Alpine farmers in early times.

plain of Suaggio

on the left: the plain of Suaggio (Vedeseta, Val Taleggio) was created after reclamation of a mire during the VIII century AD. Pollen analysis and radiocarbon dating of these sediments enabled the reconstruction of forest history and the recognition of evidence for the early establishment of pastures in this sector of the Prealps (see Ravazzi, Aceti et al., 2007)

Analysis of pollen, plant macroremains and charcoal for the Archaeological Park of the Megalithic Area of Saint Martin de Corlèans (Aosta): research funded by Soprintendenza per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta.

The Lab. of Palynology and Palaeoecology is carrying out the analysis of fossil plant remains (micro- and macroscopic) from the stratigraphic sections, the wells and the graves of the Megalithic Area of Aosta. Based on radiometric and cultural evidences, the deposits are attributed to the period between the Late Neolithic and the Middle Ages.

SEM photograph of a fragment of charcoal of Quercus

on the left: SEM photograph of a fragment of charcoal of Quercus (broadleaved species: transversal section) from the Megalithic Area of Aosta. On the right a large multiseriated ray: the fragment is also characterized by annular porosity. Scale bar: 500 micron.

Photograph by Lab. di Microscopia Elettronica e Microanalisi, C.N.R. - IDPA

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