image/svg+xml115 IX/2/2018 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Editorial IANSA 2/2018 CEA 2018: the 14 th Conference of Environmental Archaeology in Modena and this Special Issue of IANSA Jaromír Beneš, Anna Maria Mercuri Our journal, Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica, Natural Sciences in Archaeology (IANSA) has been closely associated with the Conference of Environmental Archaeology (CEA) since its very conception. These modestly organised conferences were frst held in the Czech language under the Archaeobotanical working group beginning in 2005 in Prague, and was then transformed into the CEA from 2010. Later, the Scientifc Committee decided to hold a conference every three years in English to open it up to an international audience. The frst such meeting was organised as the 11 th Conference of Environmental Archaeology in February 2015, in České Budějovice, Czech Republic, under the auspices of the PAPAVER Centre (Beneš et al. , 2015).In 2017, the 13 th Conference of Environmental Archaeology took place in Nitra, Slovakia: the frst time outside the Czech Republic (Mlejnek and Hajnalová, 2017). February 2018 saw the conference leave its central European ‘motherland’ and head down towards southern Europe: moving to Italy. Its organization was undertaken by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, under the direction of the Laboratory of Palynology and Palaeobotany of the Department of Life Sciences, an interdisciplinary biological centre in the full spirit of transdisciplinarity within environmental archaeology. This was the third congress locally organised by the Modena team since 2013, and was an obvious continuation of its scientifc activity: proposing a bridge between palaeoecology and ecology and emphasizing the role of archaeobotany in environmental archaeology and the modern science of conservation (Mercuri et al. , 2013; Marignani et al. , 2017; Piovesan et al. , 2018).In the CEA of 2018, seven thematic sections were planned, reporting contributions on:1) Detecting human impact: the ABG (Archeo-Bio-Geo) research.2) Long-term environmental reconstruction for landscape management.3) Northern Africa archaeo-environmental changes.4) Mediterranean archaeo-environmental changes. 5) Reconstructing past landscape: fora insights from archaeological sites.6) Interdisciplinary methods for environmental archaeology interpretation. 7) Environmental sustainability in a changing world: lessons from the past. Studies on palaeoecological reconstructions with archaeological surveys, analyses of botanical remains, human and animal bones, and isotopic and molecular data were also presented. The botanical contribution to archaeology was developed in several presentations that dealt with transformations in fora and vegetation as the centre of environmental reconstructions. Research based on plant macroremains, non-pollen palynomorphs and pollen data enriched the long-term perspective of the analytical archaeological studies (for example, Mercuri, 2014; Mercuri and Florenzano, 2019). The abstracts were collected together as part of an e-book, including oral presentations (41) and posters (20), that were presented at the three-day conference (Florenzano et al. , 2018).The congress received sponsorships from the Botanical Society of Italy (SBI), the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Protohistory (IIPP) and the Society of Naturalists and Mathematicians of Modena (SNMM), three important Italian scientifc associations which awarded several contributions by young scientists ( e.g. Luelmo-Lautenschlaeger et al. , 2018; Figure 1). Moreover, overall patronage was given by the Superintendence of Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Ferrara, along with the Municipality of Modena and the Emilia Romagna Region, and the archaeobotanical network BRAIN – Botanical Records of Archaeobotany Italian Network ( brainplants.successoterra.net ; Mariotti Lippi et al. , 2018). Modena’s Civic Museum hosted the Social Dinner in the wonderful surroundings of the archaeological rooms of the museum. Financial support was ofered by the national project SUCCESSO-TERRA (on sustainability and the Bronze Age in the Po Plain, N Italy; Cremaschi Volume IX ● Issue 2/2018 ● Pages 115 –118
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2018 ● IX/2 ● 115–118 Jaromír Beneš, Anna Maria Mercuri: CEA 2018: the 14 th Conference of Environmental Archaeology in Modena and this Special Issue of IANSA 116 et al. , 2016, and this issue), by the Fondazione Anna Maria Catalano ONLUS and by the CEDAD-Centro di Datazione e Diagnostica laboratory. The local organization committee and the Centro Interateneo EDUNOVA – Centro E-learning di Ateneo, which created the logo (Figure 2), contributed to the success of the conference.This special issue brings seven contributions that were made at the Modena conference and a backstory based on the plenary lecture given by Mauro Cremaschi at the opening session. In the vast majority their themes touch on the archaeobotany and palaeoecology of southern Europe – from France to the Balkans. The frst contribution, prepared by the Czech-Macedonian team, concerns the archaeobotany of the Neolithic. The paper by Jaromír Beneš et al. maps the noticeable possibilities of the site of Vrbjanska Čuka in Pelagonia (Republic of Macedonia), where the Neolithic tell is investigated in an interesting environmental setting. The paper integrates the analytical knowledge of several archaeobotanical disciplines, as well as an analysis of molluscs describing the local early and middle Holocene environment. The article about fuel practices in Roman North Africa written by Erica Rowan presents the extensive use of pomace. The author, who has developed this topic (Rowan, 2015), focuses on the ways in which the Romans brought together olive oil and pottery production. The paper emphasizes the role of archaeobotanical research in modern contexts by remarking that today, in the face of increasing energy demands, pomace is once again being recognized as an important resource for sustainable development in the Mediterranean area.Chiara Molinari and Carlo Montanari describe the “wooded-meadows system”: a former multifunctional use of vegetation that had been widespread in Europe since the Neolithic. They document this type of human and vegetation interaction in the Ligurian Apennines (Italy) between the Middle Ages and the frst half of the 19 th century. The charcoal kilns of the northern Apennines are investigated by anthracologists and palaeoecologists under the leadership of Alessandra Benatti. The charcoal fragments contained in these anthropogenic structures, located in the mountain areas of Monte Cimone and Corno alle Scale in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (northern Italy), at high altitudes, have enabled the reconstruction of human-forest relationships during the last centuries. Comparison between the anthracological results and other ethnobotanical and historical-social information has made it possible to improve our knowledge of an activity that was fundamental to past mountain needs and economies. Environmental archaeology from mountain landscapes is