Research & Education

The Mediterranean Diet Archaeology Project

The Mediterranean Diet Archaeology Project (MEDIAP) is an interdisciplinary research project directed by Dr. Davide Tanasi and Dr. Enrico Greco (University of Trieste, Italy) on biomolecular archaeology of the Mediterranean Diet to gain insight on dietary and culinary habits of ancient communities of the Mediterranean region, from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, and the impact on their living standards and health. In particular, it focuses on chemical characterization of organic residues on archaeological pottery via an array of analytical techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDX), Gas- and Liquid- Chromatography Mass-Spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Proteomic Analysis and Isotope and DNA Analysis of archaeological skeletal remains. The project aims at the reappraisal of contexts from old excavations and at the same time fosters new archaeological field-works in combination with a critical analysis of the available iconographic and written sources. 



Major Publications

1. D. Tanasi, E. Greco, V. Di Tullio, D. Capitani, D. Gullì, E. Ciliberto 2017, 1H-1H NMR 2D-TOCSY, ATR FT-IR and SEM-EDX for the identification of organic residues on Sicilian prehistoric pottery, Microchemical Journal 135, pp. 140–147.

2. D. Tanasi, E. Greco, R. Ebna Noor, S. Feola, V. Kumar, A. Crispino, I. Gelis 2018, 1H NMR, 1H-1H 2D TOCSY and GC-MS analyses for the identification of olive oil on Early Bronze Age pottery from Castelluccio (Noto, Italy), Analytical Methods 10, 2757, pp. 1-8.

3. E. Greco, O. El-Aguizy, M. Fouda Ali, S. Foti, V. Cunsolo, R. Salletti, E. Ciliberto 2018, Proteomic Analyses on an Ancient Egyptian Cheese and Biomolecular Evidence of Brucellosis, Analytical Chemistry 90.16, pp. 9673-9676. 

4. M. Ba-Hoang-Anh, R. Barbieri, T. Chenal, D. Castex, R. Jonvel, D. Tanasi, P. Georges-Zimmerman, O. Dutour, M. Drancourt, G. Aboudharam 2020, Five millennia of Bartonella quintana bacteremia, PLoS ONE 15.11: e0239526, November 4, pp. 1-9.

5. D. Tanasi, E. Greco, F. Pisciotta, S. Hassam 2021, Chemical characterization of organic residues on Late Roman amphorae from shipwrecks off the coast of Marsala (Trapani, Italy), Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 40, pp. 1-7. 

6.       D. Tanasi, A. Cucina, V. Cunsolo, R. Saletti, A. Di Francesco, E. Greco, S. Foti 2021, Paleoproteomic profiling of organic residues on prehistoric pottery from Malta, in Amino Acids 53, pp. 295-312.