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One more great achievement for BeArchaeo project

In February 2020 the BIO team was again in Japan to present the results of the biological investigation of the Tobiotsuka Kofun and to promote networking between Italian and Japanese scientists.

The networking action was very successful, in fact thanks to the precious collaboration of the research group of the Prof. Kazhuiro Sato of the Institute of Plant Science and Resources of the Okayama University, a reliable protocol for the investigation of old plant DNA has been set up.

As a matter o fact, it will allow us to study the ancient vegetation of the Tobiotsuka kofun and will provide information about the past climatic condition.

Moreover, thanks to the help provided by Prof. Hajime Ikeda and Dr. Jun Yamashita, all current plant vegetation, surveyed in 2019 at Tobiotsuka kofun, was identified.

All the results about the biological investigation have been presented on the occasion of the second workshop of the BeArchaeo project, held from 18 to 20 February at the premises of the University of Okayama.

What has been outlined by the BIO team is how the biological investigations are of great interest in

an archaeological context.

For example, the study of the fungal communities associated to the different archaeological

layers, in combination with the pedological data, has revealed at what depth was the ancient soil

horizon when the kofun was built.

Similarly the study of current plant vegetation has provided interesting data highlighted the most

humid part of the kofun mound, thus providing indications on which areas the probability to find

organic remains is higher. These satisfactory achievements will be a stimulus in continuing this

research and collaboration in order to provide to archaeologists as much data as possible to

describe past environmental conditions and the activities of ancient people.

Furthermore, they showed how strategical will be to implement and increase collaboration between Italians and Japanese on the way to more strongly bridge different cultures and scientific approaches.

Hopefully (depending on Coronavirus crisis evolution, of course), by next august 2020 italian BIO team, along wih archaeologists and archaeometers will be on the field again. More surprises are thus expected!

Scientific contribution of Samuele Voyron and Laura Guglielmone

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