Consistent water supply is a common issue in the history of Mediterranean civilizations, where hydraulic solutions, such as cisterns, wells, reservoirs and aqueducts, were adopted for private and public supply. In this context, the island of Pantelleria, where surface freshwater is virtually non-existent, represents a unique case for understanding human–environment interaction in waterless environments. Here, in historical times, year-round water supply was only possible through the storage of rainwater in underground cisterns. An intensive field survey carried out across the island led to the discovery of hundreds of cisterns dated from the Punic and Roman periods to the present day. The study of the spatial distribution of the cisterns was compared with archaeological data on the island to gain new insights on historical settlement and demographic patterns. The present work focusses on a semi-quantitative assessment of water storage on the island of Pantelleria based on the evaluation of potential volumes of stored water for different periods. Data available for cisterns in Pantelleria have been analysed and compared with those from coeval Mediterranean regions. Calculations on the seasonal fluctuation between water demand and supply have been estimated to evaluate the efficiency of such system for sustaining human population and subsistence activities through time.

The implications of water storage for human settlement in Mediterranean waterless islands: The example of Pantelleria / Mantellini, S. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY. - ISSN 1461-4103. - STAMPA. - 20:4(2015), pp. 406-424. [10.1179/1749631415Y.0000000005]

The implications of water storage for human settlement in Mediterranean waterless islands: The example of Pantelleria

MANTELLINI, SIMONE
2015

Abstract

Consistent water supply is a common issue in the history of Mediterranean civilizations, where hydraulic solutions, such as cisterns, wells, reservoirs and aqueducts, were adopted for private and public supply. In this context, the island of Pantelleria, where surface freshwater is virtually non-existent, represents a unique case for understanding human–environment interaction in waterless environments. Here, in historical times, year-round water supply was only possible through the storage of rainwater in underground cisterns. An intensive field survey carried out across the island led to the discovery of hundreds of cisterns dated from the Punic and Roman periods to the present day. The study of the spatial distribution of the cisterns was compared with archaeological data on the island to gain new insights on historical settlement and demographic patterns. The present work focusses on a semi-quantitative assessment of water storage on the island of Pantelleria based on the evaluation of potential volumes of stored water for different periods. Data available for cisterns in Pantelleria have been analysed and compared with those from coeval Mediterranean regions. Calculations on the seasonal fluctuation between water demand and supply have been estimated to evaluate the efficiency of such system for sustaining human population and subsistence activities through time.
2015
The implications of water storage for human settlement in Mediterranean waterless islands: The example of Pantelleria / Mantellini, S. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY. - ISSN 1461-4103. - STAMPA. - 20:4(2015), pp. 406-424. [10.1179/1749631415Y.0000000005]
Mantellini, S
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/533591
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact