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Il mondo delle palafitte: la conservazione dei resti organici

Information on prehistoric settlements

The special conditions of preservation of organic remains in deposits soaked with water, allow to find materials in good condition, getting information about the daily life of prehistoric settlements much more complete than in the traditional dry archaeological sites.

Conservazione resti organici Over time, the organic materials tend to disappear, because decomposed by fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. Their preservation can therefore only occur when the activity of these organisms is not present or is very slow.

The ideal condition where the organic remains are preserved is the underwater environment or where the water is constantly present as happens in deposits that are located below the groundwater level; in this context is the almost total lack of oxygen to limit or prevent the action of bacteria.

The dwelling villages are inexhaustible sources of information about prehistoric times. In this particular type of archaeological sites, conservation of timber homes, wooden structures or fences helps us understand the history, evolution and organization of the ancient villages. In addition, the preservation of equipment and containers of wood, baskets, fabric or cordage, and the remains of food gives us a tremendous insight into the daily life of the people living in these villages. The uniqueness of the findings will of course require special techniques of excavation, proper documentation and knowledge on the preservation of organic materials that can be realized only in the presence of groups of multidisciplinary research, where researchers from different scientific fields work together.

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