Bears and Humans Project: a new tale of bears and humans in Trentino throughout prehistory – Dr. Nicola Nannini
Due to to the rich archeological records, the Trentino Alto Adige region is an important territory to understand the evolution of the relationship between bears and humans.
In fact, the Alpine territory has always represented the natural habitat of this animal, whose history is tightly intertwined with the evolution of both the landscape and human behaviour ever since the Palaeolithic.
The reseach project focuses on the zooarcheological and taphonomic analysis of bear bones, combined with the application biochemical analyses such as ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry), isotopic analysis and ancient DNA analysis with the contribution of partner institutions, both italian and european.
The objective is to define the role of the bear during a period of 10,000 years, between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Iron Age, decoding the hunting strategies through experimental paleo-ballistic protocols, the gestures of prey processing and the use of the relative resources.
In addition, the experimental archeology approach together with ethnographical information contribute to the interpretation of archaeological remains and the reconstruction of human habits up to the recognition of a possible symbolic treatment of bones related to bear-ceremonial behaviors.
This research is co-funded by MUSE – Science Museum of Trento and Caritro Foundation.
Prehistoric research at MUSE is supported by Nerobutto srl.