Dr. Wouter van Gorp have two tasks: firstly, to refine Feiken’s (2014) geological and palaeogeographical reconstruction of the central Pontine graben, expand it to the southeastern coastal area and the adjacent Fondi basin, and assist Luca Alessandri and Marieke Doorenbosch in selecting the most suitable new locations for coring; and secondly to provide the geodata framework and GIS support for the research team as a whole.
Before and during the first fieldwork period he will work closely with his colleagues to identify locations suitable for the collection of pollen cores, and to identify the most promising potential new archaeological site locations dating to the EBA-MBA in these areas. He will help to conduct these necessary corings and ensure that they are described according to current geological standards. Besides setting up and maintaining a joint GIS geodatabase for the research team, he will supervise the submission of samples for radiocarbon dating, petrographic and isotope analysis.
The main scientific work of this postdoc will be to design and conduct (with the help of students) a systematic manual coring program to map the AV-tephra and any archaeological indicators of EBA-MBA habitation or land use in the Pontine plain and Fondi basin, and thereby extend the geological and palaeogeographical reconstructions by Feiken (2014) in these areas.
Coring campaigns in September-october 2015, februari 2016 and May – June 2016 have delivered a comprehensive image of where the Avellino tephra can be and is preserved (Fig. 1). The Holocene deposits in the Agro Pontino graben range from Fluvial and deltaic deposits, lacustrine,
marshy and lagoonal deposits (Fig 1,2). The only viable location until now for a direct connection between the AV-tephra and Early Bronze Age sites is at Tratturo Caniò.
Detailed reconstruction of tephra altitude and depth in relation to contemporaneous wet and dry (originally Pleistocene) surfaces will unravel the diverse Early Bronze Age landscape of the central and Southeastern Agro Pontino and Fondi basin. Furthermore, ongoing work on grainsize distribution and geochemical characteristics will clarify the depositional regime and environmental impact of the AV-tephra.