Dear list members,
we are pleased to announce the workshop
"Fossils, molecular phylogenetics and the biogeography of the Mediterranean
that will be held as a session of the upcoming Congress of the Societas
Herpetologica Italica (Cabras, Sardinia, Italy, 1-5 October 2008).
Oral and poster presentations dealing with all aspects of palaeontology,
archaeozoology, taxonomy, biogeography and phylogeography of Mediterranean
chelonians are welcomed.
We strongly encourage presentations concerning remains coming from
Further information are available at:
(the presentation of the workshop is copied below)
For any question concerning the workshop, please write to:
Massimo Delfino - [log in to unmask]
Uwe Fritz - [log in to unmask]
Hope to see you in Sardinia!
Earth Sciences Department
Via G. La Pira 4, I-50121 Firenze
++39 055 2757525
[log in to unmask]
PD Dr. Uwe Fritz, Direktor
Museum fuer Tierkunde (Museum of Zoology) Staatliche Naturhistorische
Sammlungen Dresden (Natural History State Collections Dresden)
A.-B.-Meyer-Bau / Koenigsbruecker Landstr. 159
The current distribution of the Mediterranean chelonians is the result of a long
and complex evolutionary history.
The circum-Mediterranean region comprises three continents and is characterized
by a complex physiography, with peninsulas, mountain chains, and islands,
resulting from a highly dynamic and composite geological history that shaped
the chelonian geographic ranges we can observe at present.
Nevertheless, this region has been one of the areas of the planet more densely
and widely populated by man since the antiquity, and due to the fact that
chelonians had a special role in the life of human beings (at least as food,
source of raw materials and tools, pets, 'jewellery', and ritual objects), the
present distribution of the Mediterranean chelonians has been partly influenced
by human intervention.
How much the current distribution of the Mediterranean chelonians reflects the
physiographic evolution of the region and it is therefore the product of
When, where, and why humans relocated chelonians in the Mediterranean area?
Attempts of finding answers can be accomplished with different approaches.
Recent developments in molecular phylogenetics offer powerful tools to
investigate these and other aspects, providing previously unexpected scenarios
not only in terms of fine-scale phylogenetic relationships, but also in terms
At the same time, palaeozoology and archaeozoology, still representing the only
direct access to the temporal and geographic dimension of biological events
occurred in the past, provide key evidence on the historical biogeography of
chelonians, not to mention direct indications about human-animal interactions.
Unfortunately, the above mentioned disciplines are developed by different
researchers in different institutions, often with different approaches and
goals, and their results are published in different magazines.
A sort of barrier seems to deeply affect the circulation of information.
The goal of this workshop is to offer a chance of meeting and discussing the
topic to all those who are working, or are simply interested, in the historical
biogeography of the Mediterranean chelonians. All this on an island that
presently hosts four species of chelonians . whose history is possibly much
more complex than formerly supposed.
Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Sheffield S1 4ET
Telephone: (+) 44 (0) 114 22 22 943
Fax: (+) 44 (0) 114 27 22 563
For Archaeologists for Global Justice (AGJ) see:
"There is no way to peace. Peace IS the way".