Geology

Geology

Tephra sites in the Agro Pontino and Fondi basin. A: higher Pleistocene marine terraces, B: low-lying Agro Pontino Graben, C: Fondi basin
Tephra sites in the Agro Pontino and Fondi basin. A: higher Pleistocene marine terraces, B: low-lying Agro Pontino Graben, C: Fondi basin

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.

 

Preliminary results

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,

Depositional units. 1: Fluviodeltaic plain, 2: aerobic lake, 3: anaerobic lake/marsh, 4: shallow lake/transitional ridge, 5: Amaseno basin, 6: Coastal lagoons, 7: Dissected tributary streams, 8: Fondi coastal lagoons, 9: Fondi dissected streams
Depositional units. 1: Fluviodeltaic plain, 2: aerobic lake, 3: anaerobic lake/marsh, 4: shallow lake/transitional ridge, 5: Amaseno basin, 6: Coastal lagoons, 7: Dissected tributary streams, 8: Fondi coastal lagoons, 9: Fondi dissected streams

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.

 

Ongoing work

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.

 

 

AV-tephra in different sedimentary settings: a: Migliara 44.5, b: Campo Inferiore, c: Ricci, d: Borgo Hermada, e: Tratturo Caniò, f: Mezzaluna, g: double tephra layer at Femmina Morta. Arrows indicate location of Tephra layer (Figures a-c,e,f from Sevink et al., 2011, 2013).
AV-tephra in different sedimentary settings: a: Migliara 44.5, b: Campo Inferiore, c: Ricci, d: Borgo Hermada, e: Tratturo Caniò, f: Mezzaluna, g: double tephra layer at Femmina Morta. Arrows indicate location of Tephra layer (Figures a-c,e,f from Sevink et al., 2011, 2013).

 

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The Team

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Scientific output

Publications Romboni M., De Angelis F., Cortese F., Romano E., Pandolfi L., Rolfo M. F., Rickards O., Alessandri L. 2018, Life, death and pathogens: a morphological and molecular study about ...
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Scientific quality

This research program is designed to test a clear hypothesis – that a refugee population from Campania settled in the ...
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Structure of research

Structure of the program The core of the research program consists of three closely linked research projects, each requiring an experienced ...
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Description of research

Description of research About four thousand years ago, a major eruption of the Monte Somma Vesuvius devastated the landscape and the ...
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The Avellino Project

Around 1995 BC, during the Early Bronze Age, a giant eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried a flourishing landscape of villages ...
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