The Harvesting Memories Project: Historical ecology and landscape changes of the Sicani Mountains in Sicily




Historical ecology, Landscape Archaeology, Archaeobotany, Vegetation, GIS, Sustainability, Early Middle Ages


The Harvesting Memories project aims to investigate the historical landscape dynamics in an inner area of the Sicani Mountains district in Western Sicily (Contrada Castro, Corleone-Palermo). The interdisciplinary approach of the project allowed us to combine and integrate methods from different disciplines such as historical ecology, landscape archaeology, archaeobotany and GIS-based spatial analysis. In this paper some results have been summarized. The comparison between land mosaic change during the last 60 years, the relationship between site catchment area and land suitability and the correlation between archaeobotanical and phytosociological data. This approach underlined the relevance of the historical ecology for understanding landscape trajectories and planning strategy of suitable development of rural areas.


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Author Biography

Giuseppe Bazan, University of Palermo

Giuseppe Bazan (Italy) is Professor of Environmental and Applied Botany at the University of Palermo.

He teaches courses of Applied Botany and Landscape Ecology in the Degrees in Urbanism and Regional and Landscape Planning, a course of Historical ecology in the Degree in Archaeology and a course of Botany in the degree in Biological Science of University of Palermo.

His research focuses on landscape ecology and, as a botanist, his principal interest is in the role plant communities play in understanding the formative processes of the land mosaic. By combining field studies on plant biodiversity and G.I.S. techniques, his research addresses many complex aspects of landscape at both spatial and temporal scales.

Another new field of research of Giuseppe Bazan concerns how the extreme environmental conditions affect the production of biologically active compounds in plants and how cultivation affect the synthesis of bioactive compounds that plants produce under stressful condition.

Giuseppe Bazan was the Principal Investigator of the UNIPA team of the EU FP7 Project “MEditerranean MOntainous LAndscapes: an historical approach to cultural heritage based on traditional agrosystems (MEMOLA). The MEMOLA project, in 2015, was selected by the EU Humanities Scientific Committee as one of the top five innovative research projects in the humanities. In this interdisciplinary project, Giuseppe Bazan placed an emphasis on the role of vegetation science in the understanding of landscape history.

He is Principal Investigator of the research project “Harvesting memories. Ecology and Archeology of Monti Sicani landscapes (Central-western Sicily)”, born from the collaboration between Bona Furtuna LLC (project-funder), the University of Palermo and the Superintendency BB.CC.AA of Palermo.

With Slow Food Monti Sicani he is carrying out the project “Plant & Food heritage: studies and research of ethnobotany in the Sicani Mountains”. Through an investigation into the traditional uses of wild and cultivated plants in traditional food, the research aims to rediscover ancient recipes, identify the gastronomic area of the Sicani Mountains and contribute to redesigning the food culture of rural communities.




How to Cite

Bazan, G., Castrorao Barba , A. ., Speciale , C. ., Micciche , R. ., Pisciotta , F. ., Aleo Nero, C. ., & Marino , P. . (2022). The Harvesting Memories Project: Historical ecology and landscape changes of the Sicani Mountains in Sicily. Ecocycles, 8(1), 51–60.