PhD Candidate Lorenzo Castellano Featured in Archaeology Magazine

By Maggie Pavao

In the November - December 2017 issue of Archaeology Magazine, ISAW PhD candidate Lorenzo Castellano was quoted for his work uncovering ancient methods of beekeeping. The article discusses the beekeeping methods discovered by archaeologists working in the Etruscan area of Forcello, when they uncovered the charred and melted remains of honey, honeycombs, and honeybees in a workshop that had burned down between 510 and 495 B.C. This chemical and palynological (pollen) analyses helped to determine the plants that bees were collecting pollen from two and half millennia ago, which led them to the belief that Etruscan beekeepers maintained beehives on boats and took the harvested honeycombs back to their workshops to extract the honey.

An exerpt from Pliny the Elder’s Natural History mentions a town only about 12 miles from Forcello, in which he discusses the movements of the beehives by boats. Castellano says, “We have tried to study the finds and their context from all possible angles and, surprisingly, we ended up having very strong indications of a nomadic form of beekeeping... Our finds, which are more than five centuries older, appear to confirm Pliny’s narrative.” 

Read the full Archaeology Magazine article online here.