Project: Archaeological Wooden Pile-Dwelling in Mediterranean European lakes: strategies for the exploitation, monitoring and conservation

Acronym WOODPDLAKE (Reference Number: JPICH-0099)
Duration 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2022
Project Topic Wooden pile dwellings (WPD) are an inexhaustible and precious source of information on landscape evolution and contingent cultural activities. There have been significant investigations on WPD submerged in Alpine areas, but important knowledge gaps are evident regarding Mediterranean volcanic and karstic lakes. The conservation of the latter archaeological remnants is endangered by the climatic change impacts and anthropogenic pressure, further exacerbated by the sensitive and circumscribed lake environments. Wood from pile dwellings is waterlogged, and its conservation mostly depends on the surrounding environment i.e. sediments and water quality. This project aims to study all the aspects of WPD in volcanic and karstic lakes through studies ranging from their potential exploitation, investigation into their conservation and restoration, monitoring lake environment and forecasting scenarios through an aquarium reproducing the most significant abiotic conditions occurring in the lake. This last study will be achieved by means of an aquarium model. Three case-studies have been selected in which agricultural practices influence climatic stress and pollution impact: Lake Banyoles in Spain and Lakes Bolsena and Mezzano in Italy. The foreseen investigations will employ an extraordinarily wide spectrum of skills and disciplines (palynology, dendrochronology, micromorphology, soil science and innovative tools like isotopic analysis). The characterization of wooden materials will involve gravimetric measurements, solid NMR, microbiological analysis, XRD, FTIR-imaging, Py-GC/MS and thermogravimetry. Samples will derive from different sources to include immersed, reburied finds and restored wood. The main activities will be devoted to fields campaigns and UAV, high resolution methods for monitoring environmental conditions, capitalization of results (network of bigdata about lake sites), involvement of local actors and population on the historical, cultural and environmental value of WPDs to establish decision-making processes and to foster high quality tourism. The project fits the topic Management of Cultural Heritage at Risk.
Network JPI Cultural Heritage
Call Joint research on conservation, protection and use of cultural heritage

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Tuscia Coordinator Italy
2 University Autonomous of Barcelona Partner Spain
3 Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives GRENOBLE Partner France
4 Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il restauro Partner Italy