F. Cucchi1 / A. Mereu1/ E. Montagnari Kokelj2 / C. Piano1 / A. Rossi1 / L. Zini1

(1Department of Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy / 2Department of Antiquity Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy)

Since the late 1990s the Departments of Antiquity Sciences and of Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences of the University of Trieste have established a strict collaboration that has produced several joint research projects: ArcheoGIS of the Isonzo Valley, a geo-referenced database of all the archaeological sites of the Gorizia province, from prehistory to medieval times; C.R.I.G.A., again a geo-referenced database including all the caves of archaeological interest in the Trieste Karst; the geo-lithological map of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a study of chert / flint from the natural formations present in the region to their exploitation as documented in the numerous pre-protohistoric sites represented by surface lithic scatters as well as stratigraphic contexts.
These projects, a part from the former one that was already concluded, were presented at the Congress Enter the past held in Vienna in April 2003. Due to both the nature of the Congress and the state of our studies, in that context we focused mainly on the methodological and informatic aspects, while now we present the results obtained so far. In particular, the preliminary analyses made on the basis of the C.R.I.G.A. database, almost completely implemented, have already indicated certain recurrent relationships between the geo-environmental characteristics of the various caves and their diversified human exploitation during pre-protohistory. These scientific data have been used also for a first attempt to create virtual and real itineraries of cultural tourism in the Trieste Karst. As to the project on lithics, the geo-lithological map of the region has been completed and two surface sites have been chosen to test the utility of such an instrument, that among other things helps to identify local / non local raw materials. A similar approach has been adopted also for a study of greenstone (i.e. HP Metaophiolites) extended to Slovenia and Croatia.