Charmant Project

Logo CharmAnt

Summary:

Key issues in Cultural Heritage are non-invasive inspections and low-impact excavation of archaeological sites and the subsequent non-invasive characterization of the artefacts and human remains that they contain. The latter may be hidden or simply impossible to remove for characterization in laboratory facilities, because they are too large, too fragile or too valuable. Commonly, these are in buried sites distributed within large areas, where excavation processes are expensive and labour intensive. All these issues will be addressed within CHARMANT by deploying a suite of synergistic, innovative and multidisciplinary techniques specifically developed and tailored to enable a thorough survey of large buried areas and the subsequent diagnostic needs of the archaeo-anthropological community.

CHARMANT will combine particle, laser-based and geophysical technologies and use them as artificial eyes to look through a wide range of sediments and materials. A set of biological, chemical and spectroscopic techniques will be used to provide unprecedented and unique information on objects and remains. Several archaeological sites have been selected, in Italy, with different degrees of complexity, for developing and testing the new technologies. Relevant new archaeological information is expected from field deployment of the whole suite of technologies in two case studies, Villa dei Papiri (Naples, Italy) and Abu Tbeira (South Iraq). The former, a Roman age villa, is recognized as a key site for a thorough cultural understanding of the ancient world, mostly due to its wide library. The latter, and most demanding site, is the key to solve, by archaeo-DNA retrieval and analysis, the still unanswered question on the origin of the Sumerian population.

The CHARMANT Synergistic Team

P. DE NATALE1 S. Bartalini1, P. Cancio1, G. Festa4, G. Gagliardi1, G. Giusfredi1, D. Mazzotti1, M. Missori1, L. Pezzati1, O. Pulci3, M. Vitiello1
C. ANDREANI3 I. Anderson (ORNL UT Batelle, US), H. Bilheux (SNS, ORNL UT Batelle, US), E. Coccia2, G. Gorini4, P. Picozza2, R. Senesi3, E. Strickland3
M. G. BIGA5 P. Albertano3, L. Bruno3, G. De Natale (INGV-Osservatorio Vesuviano), N. Ellwood (Università di Roma Tre), F. Fernandez-Alonso (ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, UK), M. L. Lavitrano4
O. RICKARDS3 B. Adembri (Sovraintendenza Archeologica del Lazio), F. D’Agostino5, R. Giuliani (Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra), M. Guaitoli (Università del Salento), S. Licoccia3, C.M. Labarga3, L. Mori5, L. Verderame5
COIRICH-CNR1, COIRICH-INFN2, COIRICH-Univ. Roma Tor Vergata3, COIRICH-Univ. Milano Bicocca4, Univ. Roma Sapienza5

Additional references:

P. DE NATALE

- Paolo De Natale elected Spie fellow

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C. ANDREANI

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M. G. BIGA

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O. RICKARDS

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- Nielsen-Marsh CM, Hedges RE. 2000. Patterns of diagenesis in bone. II. Effects of acetic acid treatment and the removal of diagenetic CO3. J Archaeol Sci 27:1151–1159.

- Pääbo, S, Poinar, H, Serre, D, Jaenicke-Després, V, Hebler, J, Rohland, N, Kuch, M, Krause, J, Vigilant, L, Hofreiter, M. 2004. Genetic analysis from ancient DNA. Annu. Rev. Genet. 38: 645–679.

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- Van Oven, M and Kayser, M. 2009. Updated comprehensive phylogenetic tree of global human mitochondrial DNA variation. Hum. Mutat. 30, E386-E394.