Project facts

Duration: 2020-11-01 - 2023-10-31
Project coordinator: Department for Innovation in Biological, Agrifood and Forest Systems - University of Tuscia - Viterbo
Project consortium: Departamento de Prehitòria - Autonomous University of Barcelona - Spain ARC-Nucléart - CEA Grenoble - France Istituto Centrale per il Restauro - Rome - Italy Associated partners: Associated partner.
Funding bodies: JPI -CH National Funding Agencies: : - Ministry of University and Research - Italy - National Agency for Research - France; - Spanish Funding Agency
Subject areas: Archaeology, Changing environments, Climate Change, Community involvement, Conservation, Cultural Landscapes, Ecology, Heritage Management, Materials, Mediation - Education, Methods - Procedures, Monitoring, Natural Heritage, Preventive conservation, Restoration, Sustainability, Tangible Heritage, Threats, Underwater heritage
Contact: Prof. Manuela Romagnoli -
Budget: 831,857


Wooden pile dwellings (WPD) are an inexhaustible and precious source of information on landscape evolution and contingent cultural activities. There have been significant investigations on WPD submerged in Alpine areas, but important knowledge gaps are evident regarding Mediterranean volcanic and karstic lakes. The conservation of the latter archaeological remnants is endangered by the climatic change impacts and anthropogenic pressure, further exacerbated by the sensitive and circumscribed lake environments. Wood from pile dwellings is waterlogged, and its conservation mostly depends on the surrounding environment i.e. sediments and water quality. This project aims to study all the aspects of WPD in volcanic and karstic lakes through studies ranging from their potential exploitation, investigation into their conservation and restoration, monitoring lake environment and forecasting scenarios through an aquarium reproducing the most significant abiotic conditions occurring in the lake. Three case-studies have been selected in which agricultural practices influence climatic stress and pollution impact: Lake Banyoles in Spain and Lakes Bolsena and Mezzano in Italy.

Impacts & Results

WOODPDLAKE’s main objective is to assess the impact of climate change and extreme climate events on the conservation and safeguard of pile dwellings in Mediterranean lakes. The research aims to be interdisciplinary merging environmental analysis of the lake (water quality and biological studies) into the investigation carried out on WPD. Specific objectives fall under our main goal:

  • WP 1- State of the Art of the Knowledge and Exploitation of Lake Pile Dwellings (Dendrochronology, isotopic analysis, palinology).
  • WP2 Wood degradation assessment in pile-dwelling  (NMR, Gravimetric measurements, FTIR, GC-MS-Py, SEM...(.
  • WP3. Environmental conditions. Monitoring and modeling the Impact of Extreme climate Events on the Wooden Pile Dwellings in Lakes
  • WP4 Wooden artifacts’ post-excavation assessment of restoration and conservation impact.
  • W5 Dissemination