Long-lived-in dwelling spaces provide a huge number of valuable data by which to figure out human activities and patterns of space use by prehistoric communities. However, cultural dynamics can intervene during deposit formation processes and transform depositional sets of rubbish involving artefacts and ecofacts. Notably, trampling resulting from human activities represents the most intrusive agent that affects spaces continuously used over a certain timespan. Therefore, comprehending the effect of trampling represents a key-step to assess the distribution of items in the archaeological record and to establish a solid base on which to build valid models of the use of space. This paper proposes a methodological approach to figure out the diverse effects of trampling. The methodology has been tailored on a specific case study, a long-lived-in dwelling area of the Bronze Age settlement of Coppa Nevigata (South-Eastern Italy), dated to the 12th cent. BC. Here, cycles of use and of the discarding of pottery produced a massive number of shards, whose primary deposition has been probably subjected to alteration by trampling. On this premise, the impasto pottery record has been considered as viable proxy to investigate the effects of this cultural agent on the archaeological record. The analysis proceeds by three main steps: a data entry process structured to optimize the recording of shards dimension, fragmentation rate analysis of shards and spatial analysis of well-preserved vessels. This integrated approach allowed an assessment of the reliability of distribution and conservation of the archaeological record in the studied spaces, providing crucial information to better understand use of space patterns through a second analytical step: spatial analysis of artefacts and ecofacts. An aim of this paper is to provide an analytical process replicable for further Late Prehistoric contexts.
Understanding the effect of trampling in a spatial perspective: a case study from a long-lived-in dwelling space of the Bronze Age settlement of Coppa Nevigata (South-Eastern Italy) / Lucci, Enrico. - In: ARCHEOLOGIA E CALCOLATORI. - ISSN 2385-1953. - 32.1:(2021), pp. 25-42. [10.19282/ac.32.1.2021.02]