Archeological excavations beside the Baptistery of the Dome of Padua (north-eastern Italy) unearthed anthropic deposits formed between the seventh- and tenth-century AD. These were analyzed using soil micromorphology, soil chemical analyses (especially aimed at the definition of organic matter properties and dynamics), and GC/MS analyses of fecal biomarkers, the latter corrob- orated by principal component analysis. This inter-disciplinary study allowed differentiating between units resulting from in situ accumulation of trampled domestic waste and other, more frequent, units derived from repeated dumping or backfilling episodes. Fast accumulation of organic-rich domestic waste, coupled with an incomplete evolution of organic molecules appears as a fundamental formation process of these anthropic deposits. The overall level of fecal contamination in the Padua Baptistery sediments proved to be very low or absent. . . . Keywords Urban geoarchaeology Urban deposits Formation processes Organic matter Introduction cities, dark-colored deposits occur directly above the remains of Roman-age structures, often robbed, decayed, or partially According to geoarchaeological literature, Banthropic deposits,^ destroyed (see Carver 1987; Brogiolo 2011). The term BDark Banthropic horizons,^ or Bcultural layers^ form where intense Earth^ was used to address such deposits dating to the Late human occupation takes place for prolonged periods of time Roman–Early
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2018
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