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Geoheritage

pp 1–26 | Cite as

Estimating the Potential of Archaeo-historical Data in the Definition of Geomorphosites and Geo-educational Itineraries in the Central Po Plain (N Italy)

  • Brandolini FilippoEmail author
  • Mauro Cremaschi
  • Pelfini Manuela
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Geoheritage: the foundation for sustainable geotourism

Abstract

Alluvial plains represent preferable areas for human settling for their suitability to agriculture activities, and many studies strengthen the interpretation of floodplains as complex human–water systems. The Late Holocene development of the Central Po Plain has a long-lasting connection with anthropogenic activities. In the study area, human land and water management, in association with different Late Holocene climate phases, deeply affected the geomorphological evolution of the Central Po Plain. The geomorphological and archaeomorphological features detected in this study represent valuable datasets of information about the evolution of this portion of the Po Plain in the Late Holocene. This paper aims to quantify the potential of archaeological and historical data in contextualising the anthropogenic geomorphological features and reconstructing how man affected the natural geomorphological processes. Through a multi-disciplinary approach that combines archaeomorphological and geomorphological investigations, we identify visible and invisible landforms developed in four different historical periods, and that corresponds to potential “geoarchaeomorphosites”. In the study area, the modern landscape consists of a cultural palimpsest of four different palaeolandscape layers characterised by peculiar landforms. After an in-depth analysis of present and past geomorphic features deriving from the reciprocal interaction between human and floodplain dynamics since Prehistory, this study suggests geoconservation and valorisation practices. Finally, starting from potential geoarchaeomorphosites, four geo-educational itineraries are proposed to promote future geotourism projects of the area.

Keywords

Archaeomorphology Anthropogenic geomorphology Fluvial geomorphology Geoarchaeomorphosite Geoarchaeology Landscape changes Central Po Plain Late Holocene 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Prof. Emmanuel Reynard (Université de Lausanne) who provided insight and expertise that greatly assisted the research. Also, the authors thank their colleague Ying Li Wu (University College London) who reviewed the English of the manuscript. Finally, the authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticism and comments.

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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Sciences Department “Ardito Desio”Università degli Studi di Milano MilanItaly

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