A multidisciplinary research, involving archaeological and archaeobotanical investigations, was carried out in the area Ex-Bafile (Caorle, Venice, Northern Italy, 1 m a.s.l, 45°35’46’’N 12°52’13’’E). This research was aimed at investigating the environmental context which was present during the development of the town. Based on archaeological data, the chronology of the site ranges between the VIII-IX cent. AD and the XV-XVI cent. AD. Palynological analyses refer to 15 samples, respectively 4 of VIII-IX cent., 8 of Early Medieval Age and 3 of Late Medieval Age. Some samples of macroremains including seed/fruit (5 sampling between 10 and 15 l) and wood/charcoal (1.326 records) were collected from stratigraphic levels dated between XIV and XVI cent. The results of archaeobotanical investigations have permitted the reconstruction of the main features of the plant landscape and the environment of the ancient town of Caorle through 6 different phases. Initially (Phase 1: VIII-IX cent.), the area was occupied by a wide lagoon characterized by saltish vegetation with various halophytic plants (Suaeda, Salicornia, etc.), while inland territories were forested with mixed oaks woods (Quercus deciduous, Carpinus, Fraxinus, Corylus) and hygrophilous plants (Alnus, Populus, Salix). In the following phase (X-XI cent.) a progressive clearance of woods and reclamation of saltish lands is documented; halophytic plants continue to be present around the investigated area. The anthropic landscape is characterised by cereal fields (mainly Hordeum, Avena-Triticum), pasture, meadows, legumes, vegetable plants, fructiferous (Juglans regia, Olea europaea, Vitis vinifera, etc.) and textile plants (Cannabis sativa), etc. During phase 3 (XI cent.) another reclamation process with deforesting and setting of the drainage system is recorded along with an increase of anthropic plants (Chenopodiaceae, Plantago, etc.). The permanent settlement of the area (Phase 4: XI-XII cent.) involves a greater management of the territory and a decrease of anthropic spontaneous species with an increase of cultivated plants, particularly cereals. In the following period (Phase 5: XIV cent.) a remodelling of the region is documented with a decrease of woodland and damp areas; ancient structures are destroyed in order to build new houses and enlarge fields for cultivated plants (cereals, fructiferous trees, vegetables, aromatic and various plants for the anthropic needs). In the last period (Phase 6: XV-XVI cent.) the area is abandoned. As a consequence a rich shrub and arboreal vegetation develops.
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