Pollen samples were collected from trenches excavated within the main structures of the archaeological sites. In particular, they are the moat and ditch surrounding the Santa Rosa di Poviglio site, the fill of the Vasca votiva di Noceto (for example, the top image shows records from Vasca di Noceto; see the details in the poster section), a trench cutting the occupation layers of the Monte Valestra site. Moreover, three corings have been made in the area of influence of the Terramara Santa Rosa di Poviglio and just out of this area. The sampling strategy covers the on-site/off-site integrated records that are useful to distinguish human pressure and impact at a very local and regional scale.
Besides basic treatments, pollen extraction includes sieving and heavy liquid floatation to concentrate microscopical remains. Pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs (algae, fungi, animal fragments) and microcharcoals help to reconstruct flora composition, vegetation dynamics and palaeoecology. A set of anthropogenic pollen indicators (common in the spectra from Italian archaeological sites) may be especially useful to reconstruct agricultural dynamics besides the distribution of wild vegetation (wood and wetland plant associations). The palynological research allowed to detail complex processes in agricultural economy that was practiced on the basis of wood management and crop fields.
Laboratory analyses are also carried out on carpological and xylo-anthracological remains. Seeds/fruits and woods/charcoals allow information to be obtained, especially about palaeoethnobotanical aspects (useful plants, species with economic importance or used for ritual practises); moreover, the combination of plant microremains and macroremains analyses improves the reconstructive environmental frame.