The fall, crisis or transformation? Correlation of the late antique settlement pattern changes with environment and climate fluctuations in the north-eastern Adriatic region based on results of geoarchaeological and palaeoclimatic research - Project - MOST Wiedzy


The fall, crisis or transformation? Correlation of the late antique settlement pattern changes with environment and climate fluctuations in the north-eastern Adriatic region based on results of geoarchaeological and palaeoclimatic research

By collecting and analyzing diverse proxies indicative of environmental changes in the North-Eastern Adriatic dating to Antiquity/late Antiquity, and detecting settlement pattern changes and intra-site readaptations occurring in the region, the project's aim is to reconstruct the interactions between environment and society within the framework of the complex and diverse set of processes that invested the Roman world from the 3rd and into the 8th c. AD through geo- and archaeological studies of selected sites. In fact, climatic and environmental changes that have been detected throughout the Mediterranean region for the given time-frame, are now recognised as regionally specific and, while intertwined with the socio-economic patterns of the late Roman world, their effects are highly dependent on local ecology and adaptation capacities of each region. While for both the Eastern and Western Mediterranean numerous studies allow the creation of regionally specific and supra-regional paleoclimatic models interpreted through human-environment relationship, for south-eastern Europe and the Adriatic region sufficient data is still lacking and this should start to be collected
micro-regionally. Preliminary data from terrestrial proxies and slope sediment analysis has in fact evidenced a succession of dry and humid periods for the area in question, but these need to be further explored. Similarly, models of late Antique settlement pattern modifications and intra-settlement developments have been regionally only loosely established, thus hindering regional interpretations and comparisons with the wider Adriatic and Mediterranean world, as well as a more informed correlation with other data sets. By implementing a combined geoarchaeological methodology which, on the one hand, aims to collect environmental data through the analysis of lacustrine sediments and on the other to gain knowledge on settlements' development by focusing on several carefully chosen archaeological sites, the project wishes to overcome the aforementioned limitations and data lack. The area chosen for the implementation of the project comprises Istria, the Kvarner region and northern Dalmatia. The selected fresh water reservoirs (Vrana lake on Cres island, Fruga pond on Rab island and Velo Blato lake on Pag island) are representative for the region under scrutiny and are deemed, on the bases of previous research, to hold relevant paleoenvironmental data. Selected samples obtained from columns of bottom sediments (two per reservoir) will be analysed with a number of geological methods and laboratory analyses. These will allow to build a paleoclimatic model which will test the preliminarily proposed dry and humid interval succession, providing also other proxies useful for environmental reconstruction. Different analytical methods will also be applied to the study of selected archaeological sites, which include Tar - Stancija Blek (Istria), Podšilo (Lopar, island of Rab), Plemići bay (Ražanac) and Danilo. These all are, in fact, typologically different multi-period settlements with a strong economic and productive vocation, each developing specific traits throughout the tackled period. Also, all sites hold, along with archaeological data, evidence useful for environmental reconstruction. Thus, through geophysical and remote sensing surveys site extensions will be reconstructed and ideal trial trench locations will be chosen, while excavations will allow, among others, the collection of samples for laboratory analysis (plant macro-remains analysis, geochemistry and C14 dating). The planned activities will thus allow to determine internal and inter-site variability within the given timeframe by defining structural and use-specific changes within the settlement and to identify local responses to changing conditions through the reconstruction of economic capacities and adaptations. Such data will then be more easily and precisely correlated with
results obtained through lake drillings sample analysis. Thus, the project results are aimed at building a robust framework of environmental proxies which will test the proposed paleoclimatic model providing also other datasets, which will then be correlated with the model of settlement modification and economic adaptations which will be reconstructed through the analysis of selected archaeological indicators.


Project's acronym:
Upadek, kryzys czy transformacja?
Financial Program Name:
Narodowe Centrum Nauki (NCN) (National Science Centre)
UMO-2020/37/B/HS3/024 z dnia 2021-01-26
Realisation period:
2021-01-26 - 2025-01-25
Research team leader:
dr hab Welc Andrzej Fabian
Realised in:
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Project's value:
741 480.00 PLN
Request type:
National Research Programmes
International project
Verified by:
No verification

seen 38 times