Archaeogenetics and landscape dynamics in sicily during the holocene: A review

Valentino Romano, Giulio Catalano, Giuseppe Bazan, Francesco Calì, Luca Sineo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Mediterranean islands and their population history are of considerable importance to the interpretation of the population history of Europe as a whole. In this context, Sicily, because of its geographic position, represents a bridge between Africa, the Near East, and Europe that led to the stratification of settlements and admixture events. The genetic analysis of extant and ancient human samples has tried to reconstruct the population dynamics associated with the cultural and demographic changes that took place during the prehistory and history of Sicily. In turn, genetic, demographic and cultural changes need to be understood in the context of the environmental changes that took place over the Holocene. Based on this framework, this paper aims to discuss the cultural and demographic dimension of the island by reviewing archaeogenetic studies, and lastly, we discuss the ecological constraints related to human peopling in times of change in landscapes that occurred on the island in various periods. Finally, possible directions for future archaeogenetic studies of Sicily are discussed. Despite its long human history, Sicily is still one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. The lessons we learn from the past use of landscape provide models for sustainable future management of the Mediterranean’s landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9469
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Ancient DNA
  • Anthropology
  • Historical ecology
  • Paleobotany
  • Past vegetation
  • Population genetics
  • Potential natural vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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