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Cinque A.,University of Naples Federico II | Irollo G.,Libero professionista | Romano P.,University of Naples Federico II | Ruello M.R.,University of Naples Federico II | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2011

The occasion offered by the construction of a new branch of Naples Subway and the related geotechnical and archaeological investigations allowed recognition that the city shoreline underwent remarkable changes during the Late Holocene highstand, when coastal evolution was influenced by vertical ground movements. In particular, for three investigation sites the density and quality of data were such to permit, for the first time, the reconstruction of graphs of relative sea level change (RSLC) which, compared with curves of the coeval eustatic changes in the Tyrrhenian Sea, were transformed into data about the Late Holocene history of local tectonics. By averaging the data collected in all the different sites, the obtained curve of the tectonics suggests that the coastal strip of Naples underwent a subsidence rate of 1.3. mm/a from about 5000 BP to the XII century AD, followed by a 1. m uplift during the last eight centuries (mean rate of 1.0. mm/a). The subsidence trend is consistent with the regional tectonics, even if the mean rate was less that in other portions of the Bay of Naples graben, probably because the study area lies among the parallel, synthetic faults forming the NW margin of that depression (Magnaghi-Sebeto Fault Zone) and not on the proper hanging-wall block. The prevailing subsiding trend was probably interrupted by minor episodes of uplift not only in the last eight centuries but also during the 3rd millennium BC, likely in connection with periods in which the volcano-tectonic phenomena of the Phlegrean Fields district superimposed on the descending movements caused by the MSFZ. The three investigation sites share substantially the same tectonic behaviour in the long term, but the details of their RSLC records show also discrepancies in some centuries. If not due to errors in dating and/or in estimating palaeo-elevations, such discrepancies could be ascribed to episodes of fragmentary tectonic behaviour due, probably, to occasional reactivation of some E-W trending minor lines of the Magnaghi-Sebeto Fault Zone. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Di Vito M.A.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Zanchetta G.,University of Pisa | de Vita S.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Romano P.,University of Naples Federico II | Talamo P.,Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Naples e Pompei
Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary | Year: 2013

A brief summary of the activities carried out during the AIQUA 2013 Summer School held from the 27th to 31st May 2013 at the Vesuvius Observatory. The course provided an opportunity for students and researchers from different academic backgrounds to present and discuss topics of great scientific and human interest concerning the impact of volcanic eruptions on people and the landscape, starting from actual examples in the vicinity of Naples.

Di Vito M.A.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Castaldo N.,Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Naples e Pompei | de Vita S.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Bishop J.,CAL srl | Vecchio G.,Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Naples e Pompei
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

Archaeological and volcanological studies conducted in the Naples area have revealed that numerous high-intensity explosive eruptions that occurred in the past 10ka caused damage and victims in the human communities living in the plain surrounding the Neapolitan volcanoes. These catastrophic events were interspersed by hundred to thousand year long periods of quiescence, usually exceeding a human life-time.During the Early Bronze Age in particular, the Campania Plain was densely inhabited due to favourable climatic conditions and soil fertility. The archaeological and volcanological investigation of the sequences found in archaeological excavations has permitted the detailed reconstruction of the effects of eruptions and deposition mechanisms of their products on settlements. This paper discusses the example of Nola-Palma Campania during a most interesting, though poorly known, period of activity bracketed by the Vesuvian Pomici di Avellino (Early Bronze Age) and Pollena (AD 472) Plinian eruptions. Through this time-span the Plain was variably inhabited, crossed by long-lived roads and subject to agricultural exploitation. Eruptions caused significant breaks in the occupation of the area, but also maintained the plain's extraordinary fertility. During this period, at least eight other eruptions occurred: the Pomici di Pompei Plinian event (AD 79), two sub-Plinian to phreato-Plinian events, and five violent Strombolian to Vulcanian events. Thin and poorly developed to thicker and mature palaeosols or erosional unconformities separate the various pyroclastic deposits. Almost all the eruptions and related phenomena interacted with human settlements in the Campania Plain, and in their sequences many traces of the displacement of people during the eruptions may be seen, as well as land reclamation and re-utilization soon afterwards.Despite the various kinds of hazard posed by volcanic and related phenomena, humans nevertheless found good reasons for settlement in the Campania Plain and flourished there. A multidisciplinary approach has yielded detailed information regarding the evolution of the area and the effects of eruptions on settlements. These data are of paramount importance for an improved understanding of past events and in evaluating the hazard of eruptions and related phenomena. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

De Vita S.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Di Vito M.A.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Gialanella C.,Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Naples e Pompei | Sansivero F.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

The island of Ischia is an active volcanic field, whose activity dates back to more than 150ka. From Neolithic times it experienced a complex history of human colonization and volcanic eruptions that destroyed settlements and drove away the population. Recent archaeological and volcanological research has demonstrated that humans have periodically had to face volcanic and related hazardous phenomena since at least the Greek foundation of Pithekoussai (8th century BC).During the 5th century BC a telluric event is reported by the historian Strabo to have caused the abandonment of a Syracusan military outpost on the island. In the volcanological literature the Ischia Porto Tephra eruption has been identified as the most likely culprit. The eruption formed a crater lake in the north-eastern corner of the island and emplaced a poorly dispersed pyroclastic deposit, composed of a sequence of magmatic and phreatomagmatic scoria- and pumice-fallout beds, interlayered with minor pyroclastic density current deposits. Recent excavations furnished clear evidence of the impact of this eruption on a settlement located on S. Pietro Hill, to the east of Ischia's harbour.The archaeological finds include mounds of building materials, pieces of decorative terracotta panels and a few terracotta antefix fragments. The spatial distribution of the material found, the presence of stacks of tiles and other building materials and the absence of any structural remains, suggest that this was a building site for the construction of a temple. As written sources confirm, although the site and the military garrison were abandoned, the colony survived. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Saccoccio F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marzocchella A.,Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Naples e Pompei | Vanzetti A.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

The Piana Campana (Southern Italy) has recently revealed its potential for the recovery of detailed archaeological and environmental data, during the Late Holocene, due to the thickening of the deposits caused by the activity of the volcanic complexes of Somma-Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei. Settlements, burials, landscape and agrarian infrastructures (tracks, fields, wells, etc.) indicate an intense and continuous human presence since at least late Neolithic times (ca. 6.2 ka cal BP). This study derives from archaeological research supported by the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Campania and the Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico "L. Pigorini", Roma (1995-2005).The comprehensive pattern of the protohistoric (Early Bronze Age) agrarian traces found at Gricignano d'Aversa/U.S. Navy support site (Caserta) is presented. An uninterrupted ploughed surface and field system of 60ha is described, preserved directly below the Pomici di Avellino eruption (ca. 3900cal BP). For the first time in Italy, such a wide protohistoric field system was reconstructed. The agrarian features (banks, gullies, one cart track) show a remarkable regularity, hinting at patterned landscape exploitation. The discussion is widened by setting these results in the context of the Piana Campana. Regional archaeological and pollen data confirm the marked agrarian impact over the landscape during this period. Arboreal pollen has generally low values under the Pomici di Avellino eruption, but it increases in the plain after this event, possibly due to the main settlement relocation in more defendable spots. The identified anthropic impact is due to the long-lasting shifting agricultural strategy adopted by human communities from the late Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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