Estudi de la fauna malacològica de la vil·la romana del Pla de Palol

Valiuska, Simonas
The Roman villa of “Pla de Palol” in “Platja d'Aro” contains numerous malacological samples and its study can provide both biological information about species diversity and information on the customs of the Roman time. This project focuses in the identification of species, the study of exploitation of these in the past compared to the present exploitation, analyse parameters of abundance and diversity to compare it with the current situation. Another part of the study consists in the analysis of the most probable techniques used to recollect the different molluscs considering the distribution of these. The results reveal a high biodiversity, represented by 23 species, both bivalve and gastropods; some shells have a clear manipulation suggesting several uses such as: the use of containers, culinary tools such as spoons, skin scrapers or ornamental uses for the manufacture of necklaces, bracelets, etc. It has also been found that the samples are represented equitably, except for Ostrea edulis with 185 samples, and species such as Bolma rugosa or Cerastoderma glaucum have been found with only one simple sample. The high presence of remains of species of gasterópodos of the Muricidae family (Hexaplex trunculus, Bolinus brandaris and Stramonita haemastoma), fragmented or drilled, suggests a possible use for the manufacture of purple dye, very valued by the Romans. Everything seems to indicate a current decrease in the natural populations of species such as Ostrea edulis, Patella ferruginea or Spondylus gaederopus, nowadays these species are described as vulnerable or endangered, on the other hand they were present and abundant in the deposits. Most of the identified species are mainly found in the mediolittoral zone and live in a sandy or rocky substratum. The lack of information in the fields of the deposits makes it difficult to infer the possible uses of these, although some rooms such as 3 or 26 could be dining rooms or kitchens, due to the abundance of samples and species, and others such as areas 14 or 15 could be waste areas where the shells of molluscs were thrown once consumed, as they are supposedly outside of the built architectural structure ​
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