Stefano Biagetti

Stefano Biagetti
University Pompeu Fabra | UPF · Department of Humanities

PhD

About

73
Publications
22,754
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876
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2014 - April 2021
University Pompeu Fabra
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2002 - November 2012
Sapienza University of Rome
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (73)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agriculture has unquestionably been one of the human activities that has heavily shaped environments and landscapes worldwide from the last 10k years up to present day. More and more interdisciplinary research indicates how the understanding of socio-ecological dynamics of past farming systems over time is fundamental to predict environmental and s...
Article
Full-text available
Drylands cover more than 40% of the earth’s land surface, are found on all continents, and are home to 30% of the world’s population. Due to water scarcity, they are generally considered unsuitable for lasting human settlement. While pastoralism has been reconceptualized recently as a rational, efficient, and sustainable way to live in drylands, ag...
Article
In this paper, we present a pilot study aimed at investigating the impact of subsistence strategies and environmental pressure on the distribution of ethnographically documented strategies to cope with drought and its effects across 35 current societies in Africa. We use freely accessible ethnographic databases to retrieve data on how a number of A...
Article
In this paper we present the results of phytolith investigations at two archaeological sites in northwestern Morocco: Khil (Tangier) and Kaf Taht el-Ghar (Tétouan). The two sites located in Western Maghreb, one on the Atlantic and one on the Mediterranean coast, were investigated in the framework of the AGRIWESTMED project. Phytolith analysis compl...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous and extensive ‘Stone Walled Sites’ have been identified in southern African Iron Age landscapes. Appearing from around 1200 CE, and showing considerable variability in size and form, these settlements are named after the dry-stone wall structures that characterize them. Stone Walled Sites were occupied by various Bantu-speaking agropastora...
Article
Full-text available
In the 12,000 years preceding the Industrial Revolution, human activities led to significant changes in land cover, plant and animal distributions, surface hydrology, and biochemical cycles. Earth system models suggest that this anthropogenic land cover change influenced regional and global climate. However, the representation of past land use in e...
Preprint
Full-text available
The reconstruction of land use practices in hyper arid Saharan Africa is often hampered by the accuracy of the available tools and by unconscious biases that see these areas as marginal and inhospitable. Considered for a long time the living space of pastoral mobile communities, new research is showing of agriculture might have been more important...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, ethnoarchaeological studies focusing on herbivore faecal remains within the soils, especially those from goat, sheep and cattle, have shown the importance of their study for identifying socio-economic activities. Thus, an accurate microstratigraphic examination of these deposits can provide us new insights into past land use, site...
Preprint
FAO guidelines on water requirements for plant growth in the absence of irrigation, stipulate that cultivation is not viable in areas with less than 450mm of annual rainfall. Indeed, in all maps of agricultural land use, most hyper-arid, arid, and semi-arid drylands are considered unproductive. Yet, modern societies in arid and semi-arid drylands s...
Article
The archaeology and ethnoarchaeology of rain-fed cultivation in arid and hyper-arid North Africa - Volume 93 Issue 370 - Carla Lancelotti, Stefano Biagetti, Andrea Zerboni, Donatella Usai, Marco Madella
Article
Full-text available
Many societal and environmental changes occurred between the 2nd millennium BC and the middle of the 2nd millennium AD in western Africa. Key amongst these were changes in land use due to the spread and development of agricultural strategies, which may have had widespread consequences for the climate, hydrology, biodiversity, and ecosystem services...
Chapter
Living reference work entry First Online: 05 February 2019 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3423-1
Preprint
Many societal and environmental changes occurred from the 2nd millennium BC to the middle of the 2nd millennium AD in western Africa. Key amongst these were changes in land use due to the spread and development of agricultural strategies, which may have had widespread consequences for the climate, hydrology, biodiversity, and ecosystem services of...
Article
A pilot archaeological survey has revealed evidence for forty monumental stone cairns preserved in good conditions in the Mudug region, Puntland, in the Horn of Africa. These monuments were digitally recorded and are presented here as part of a first assessment of the archaeological potential of the region. While such monuments are not uncommon in...
Conference Paper
The study of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) in Holocene Africa has been geographically and temporally unbalanced, particularly with regard to the integration of archaeological data into the reconstruction of past land use. Past African dynamics have often worked on a very large scale, and changes in LULC are extremely significant to the study of th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The rise and fall of complex entities is traditionally one of the most relevant topics of archaeology and history. Nevertheless, while the origin of complexity is implicitly linked with the idea of societal 'progress', the shift to looser structures is generally associated with 'fall', 'collapse', and 'catastrophe'. But the end of complex societies...
Article
Full-text available
Here we present an accurate microstratigraphic characterization of sheep/goat dung deposits from an ethnographic pastoral campsite located in SW Fazzan, at the border between Libya and Algeria. Research for referential data on current livestock contexts is essential for correctly interpreting archaeological records documented in ancient livestock s...
Article
Full-text available
We present preliminary results of an Earth observation approach for the study of past human occupation and landscape reconstruction in the Central Sahara. This region includes a variety of geomorphological features such as palaeo-oases, dried river beds, alluvial fans and upland plateaux whose geomorphological characteristics, in combination with c...
Article
Full-text available
We present preliminary results of an Earth observation approach for the study of past human occupation and landscape reconstruction in the Central Sahara. This region includes a variety of geomorphological features such as palaeo-oases, dried river beds, alluvial fans and upland plateaux whose geomorphological characteristics, in combination with c...
Article
Between 2003-2011, a research programme in southwest Fazzan (Libya) aimed at understanding the resilience of the Kel Tadrart Tuareg, currently inhabiting the Acacus Mts. Using a multi-pronged approach featuring oral interviews, participant observation, mapping of settlements and localisation of natural resources, the Kel Tadrarts' interaction with...
Article
Mobility is a key theme in Saharan archaeology. From early human dispersal to the spread of the ‘Neolithic’ up to trade in the historical period, the Saharan regions have been crossed throughout the ages by people, artefacts and ideas on a uniquely large scale. In this area, archaeological research has evolved over time, but climatic and environmen...
Chapter
The indigenous knowledge of desert dwellers is a largely neglected intangible heritage that includes a wide array of techniques, methods, and practices for coping in arid environments. Such an intangible body of knowledge is often the source of the successful adaptation to arid and semi-arid regions in the world. The case study of the Kel Tadrart T...
Article
Full-text available
To gain insights on long-term socio-ecological resilience, we examine adaptive responses of small-scale societies to dryland-related hazards in different regions and chronological periods, spanning from the mid-Holocene to the present. Based on evidence from Africa (Sahara and Sahel), Asia (South margin of the Thar desert) and Europe (South Spain),...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the settlement structure from the Kel Tadrart Tuareg, a small pastoral society from southwest Libya. Our objective was to apply spatial analysis to establish the statistical significance of specific patterns in the settlement layout. In particular, we examined whether there is a separation between domestic and livestock spaces, and whet...
Article
Session Debating Ethnoarchaeology (Theme 09: Theory for the Future) at the upcoming WAC-8 to be held in Kyoto (Japan) 28 Aug – 2 Sept 2016. The call for paper is now open. http://wac8.org/call-for-submissions/call-for-papers/ http://wac8.org/academic-program/accepted-sessions-2/ast09/ Transdisciplinarity is key to current research in humanities a...
Book
Full-text available
This volume focuses on the intangible elements of human cultures, whose relevance in the study of archaeology has often been claimed but rarely practiced. In this book, the authors successfully show how the adoption of ethnoarchaeological perspectives on non-material aspects of cultures can support the development of methodologies aimed at refining...
Article
Full-text available
The Kel Tadrart Tuareg, desert pastoralists from the Tadrart Acacus massif in Libya, were the subject of an ethnoarchaeological research carried out between 2003 and 2011. By means of a multi-pronged approach, a variety of topics were explored, ranging from the Kel Tadrart interactions with natural resources and the settlement pattern, to the layou...
Article
Full-text available
Ethnoarchaeology is a widespread research strategy for bridging the present and the past. It holds a very special position in the process of reconstructing the past, since it allows archaeologists to build frames of reference from the ethnographic present to explore, test, and infer about past phenomena. Ethnoarchaeologists strive in the present. W...
Article
Full-text available
Rock shelters in the central Saharan massifs preserve anthropogenic stratigraphic sequences that represent both a precious archive for the prehistory of the region and a powerful proxy data for Holocene palaeoenvironments. The geoarchaeological (micromorphology) and archaeobotanical (pollen analysis) approaches were integrated to investigate the an...
Book
This book focuses on the issues of resilience and variability of desert pastoralists, explicitly challenging a set of traditional topics of the discourse around pastoralism in arid lands of the Old World. Based on a field research carried out on the Kel Tadrart Tuareg in Libya, various facets of a surprisingly successful adaptation to an extremely...
Chapter
This chapter focuses upon the ethnography of the Kel Ajjer Tuareg, the larger social entity that includes the Kel Tadrart Tuareg, and of the Kel Hoggar, the other ‘northern’ Tuareg group. Information directly collected by myself in the Tadrart Acacus and in the surrounding areas will be herein used along with the ethnohistorical sources from the co...
Chapter
This chapter includes descriptions of geomorphology, climate and physiography of the Tadrart Acacus massif. Here, all the available contemporary ecological data are presented, pointing out aspects of their relevance to ongoing human settlement.
Chapter
This chapter is broadly concerned with abandoned pastoral campsites in the Acacus range. It is aimed at the study of pastoral landscapes through time, and at the investigation of the issue of visibility of pastoral settlements in arid lands. This chapter includes two main sections. The first one deals with surveys carried out with archaeological pu...
Chapter
This chapter aims to discuss the settlement distribution of current Kel Tadrart sites, focussing on their variability. In this, section I describe the current strategies of land use pursued by the few households living in the Tadrart Acacus, considering both anomalies and analogies in their settlement pattern.
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to outline the goals of this project, its research questions and its theoretical foundation. In this section, I address some theoretical and methodological issues related to pastoralism and to the archaeology of nomadism in arid lands.
Chapter
This chapter deals with the internal analysis of the Kel Tadrart campsites that have been visited in the course of my research. The most relevant features, such as huts, will bear particular scrutiny, via the exploration of the variation of techniques, location, and materials, occurring throughout the region. The definition of shared customary choi...
Chapter
This brief chapter looks at a slightly deeper time frame, one not alien to the current climate of the Tadrart Acacus, and aims at paving the way for an ethnoarchaeologically informed review of the historical landscape of the Tadrart Acacus.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has identified the antiquity and chronology of dairying practices as beginning in the Near East and its subsequent spread across Europe. In the Libyan Sahara, archaeological evidence, confirmed by the remarkable rock art depicting cattle herding, together with faunal evidence, also suggests an early inception of dairying practices...
Article
Full-text available
We describe in this paper a traditional charcoal making technology occasionally adopted by Tuareg people in the hyper-arid central Sahara (SW Libya). This methodology (called esed) has been identified thanks to ethnobotanic and ethnographic interviews with people living in the Tadrart Acacus massif (the kel Tadrart Tuareg) and confirmed by macrosco...
Article
Full-text available
The excavation at Takarkori rock shelter is part of a long-term study of Holocene cultural dynamics in southwest Libya begun in the early 1990s. With a rich Holocene occupation, the area is one of the key spots for reconstruction of human occupation of the last 10,000 years. In this region, similar to the case in the rest of the Sahara, most of the...
Article
The Messak plateau contains remarkable evidence of human occupation during prehistoric and historic times, such as rock art engravings, megalithic monuments, and scatters of stone tools. Since 1980 these remains have been heavily affected by oil extraction-related operations, and it has only been over the last decade that these operations were adeq...
Article
Abstract The Messak plateau contains remarkable evidence of human occupation during prehistoric and historic times, such as rock art engravings, megalithic monuments, and scatters of stone tools. Since 1980 these remains have been heavily affected by oil extraction-related operations, and it has only been over the last decade that these operations...
Thesis
This thesis is aimed at investigating the issue of visibility of pastoral sites and landscape, and at improving our overall understanding of arid lands pastoralism as an eco-anthropological issue. This research was motivated by the recognition that ethnographic sources are extremely vague and unclear regarding the topic of pastoralists’ adaptation...
Article
Full-text available
In the prehistoric green Sahara of Holocene North Africa-in contrast to the Neolithic of Europe and Eurasia-a reliance on cattle, sheep and goats emerged as a stable and widespread way of life, long before the first evidence for domesticated plants or settled village farming communities. The remarkable rock art found widely across the region depict...
Article
Full-text available
The mountain ranges of the Tadrart Acacus and Messak in southwestern Libya (central Sahara) are widely known for their outstanding rock art inventory and some key prehistoric sites. This paper illustrates the preliminary outcomes of current investigations on the ‘Tifinagh’ inscriptions of the Tadrart Acacus the recording of which has recently incre...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper presents the first report of macroremain from Takarkori, a large rockshelter located in the Acacus. Six samples of macroremains, including wild cereals, were selected for aDNA studies. These results demonstrate that it is possible to retrieve ancient DNA from plant remains preserved in an arid environment.
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, Garamantian archaeology has received renewed attention from historians and archaeologists, particularly in the south-western corner of Libya in the central Sahara. This paper focuses on the potential of intensive field surveys and digital technologies as applied to a particular segment of the Garamantian state: the 'castles' of Wad...
Chapter
Full-text available
Rockshelters have hosted ancient Saharans since the Late Pleistocene. After a long hiatus, human occupation of such sites was remarkable during the Holocene, when hunter-gatherers and pastoralists exploited rockshelters in different manners. Italian scholars have been excavating these locations since the 1950s, shedding light on various aspects of...
Article
Full-text available
The surface pottery from a well-preserved Holocene archaeological site in south-western Libya is analysed. The collection suggests a long and protracted human occupation of the shelter, from Late Acacus (Mesolithic) hunter-gatherers to Late Pastoral (Neolithic) herders. Aim of the work is to decode the dynamic history of the site via the study of i...

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