Girod A.,Laboratorio Of Malacologia Applicata
Quaternary International | Year: 2011
A survey of the literature published over the last 50 years on Late Glacial and early Holocene malacofauna in Italy shows that it is possible to obtain information on taxa, their abundance, chorological categories and palaeoenvironments. However, those aspects are only partly known for Northern Italy, including only a few publications to the end of the 1990s. Thanks to greater interdisciplinary collaboration, those of the past ten years are more useful, providing data on palaeoenvironments and other aspects. Of more than forty caves and rockshelters that contain malacofauna, only about a dozen scattered throughout Northern, Central and Southern Italy proved useful for distinguishing natural deposits from artificial shell middens. Whereas the intentional gathering and transport of marine molluscs to places of consumption is perfectly plausible, it remains problematic to understand what can and cannot be considered food waste in the case of land snails. There are only a few sites for which there is evidence of potentially edible land snails in combination with other important archaeological and palaeontological analyses. A better methodology for future research in Italy is imperative. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.