Early settlers of the Piedmont Alps between Climate Change and Innovation (APICI)

The project focuses on the study and enhancement of traditional production methods of fermented foods (cheese, wine, beer) in the Western Alps. The Alps have been a crucial artery of communication since prehistoric times, inhabited by communities open to innovation who have also been able to keep alive local productive traditions. The Neolithic site of Chiomonte is the focus of our study which is carried out in close collaboration with Musei Reali di Torino (MRT), which hold the archaeological finds from the site, i.e. ceramic containers used for the production and preservation of food and drink, as well as animal and human remains. 

APICI reconstructs Neolithic lifeways in the Alps integrating information obtained from archival and ethnographic research with the study of fauna (by zooarchaeology and ZooMS – zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry) and the characterization of food and drink residues (by organic residue analysis – ORA and metagenomics of microorganisms involved in fermentation). We rely on strong partnerships with local producers and institutions aiming at a multidirectional transfer of expertise between the University, Museums and the territory.

Funded by

Funded by the Fondazione CRT.

Principal Investigator
  • Prof. Beatrice Demarchi, University of Turin
Co-Investigators & collaborators

Ms Alessia Monticone (University of Turin), Prof. Rosa Boano (University of Turin), Dr Cynthianne Spiteri (University of Turin), Prof. Irene Stefanini (University of Turin), Dr Elisa Panero (MRT), Dr Patrizia Petitti (MRT)