Recent publications

List of selected publications (last few years)


Clarke, J., Brooks, N., Banning, E.B., Bar-Matthews, M., Campbell, S., Clare, L., Cremaschi, M., di Lernia, S., Drake, N., Gallinaro, M., Manning, S., Nicoll, K., Philip, G., Rosen, S., Schoop, U.-D., Tafuri, M.A., Weninger, B.,Zerboni, A., in press. Climatic changes and social transformations in the Near East and North Africa during the long 4th millennium BC: A comparative study of environmental and archaeological evidence. Quaternary Science Reviews.

di Lernia, S., Bruni, S., Cislaghi, I., Cremaschi, M., Gallinaro, M., Gugliemi, V., Mercuri, A., Poggi, G.,Zerboni, A., 2015. Colour in context. Pigments and other coloured residues from the Early-Middle Holocene site of Takarkori (SW Libya). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 1-22.

di Lernia, S., 2015. Save Libyan archaeology. Nature 517 (7536), 547-549.

Biagetti, S., Kaci, A.,di Lernia, S., 2015. The written landscape of the central Sahara: recording and digitising the Tifinagh inscriptions in the Tadrart Acacus Mountains. In: M. Kominko (Ed.) From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme, pp. 1-29. Open Book Publishers.


Cancellieri, E. and S. di Lernia 2014. Re-entering the central Sahara at the onset of the Holocene: A territorial approach to Early Acacus hunter–gatherers (SW Libya). Quaternary International 320: 43–62.

Gallinaro, M. 2014. "Tadrart Acacus Rock Art Sites", in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Edited by C. Smith, pp. 7201-7208. New York: Springer.


Biagetti, S. and S. di Lernia. 2013. Holocene Deposits of Saharan Rock Shelters: The Case of Takarkori and Other Sites from the Tadrart Acacus Mountains (Southwest Libya). African Archaeological Review 30 (3): 305-338.

Cancellieri, E., and S. di Lernia. 2013. Middle Stone Age human occupation and dispersals in the Messak plateau (SW Libya, central Sahara). Quaternary International 300 (25): 142–152.

Cherkinsky, A. and S. di Lernia. 2013. Bayesian Approach to 14Cdates for estimation of long-term archaeological sequences in arid environments: The Holocene site of Takarkori Rockshelter, Southwest Libya. Radiocarbon 55 (2-3): 771-782.

di Lernia, S. 2013. "The emergence and spread of herding in Northern Africa: a critical reappraisal," in Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology. Edited by P. J. Mitchell and P. J. Lane, pp. 527–540. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

di Lernia, S. 2013. Places, monuments, and landscape: evidence from the Holocene central Sahara. Azania 48 (2): 173-192.

di Lernia, S. 2013. A Cover Story for a Nature cover: milking in the prehistoric "Green Sahara". Journal of anthropological sciences 01/2013; 91:7-11. 

di Lernia, S., and M. A. Tafuri. 2013. Persistent deathplaces and mobile landmarks. The Holocene mortuary and isotopic record from Wadi Takarkori (SW Libya). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32: 1-15.

di Lernia, S., Tafuri, M.A., Gallinaro, M., Alhaique, F., Balasse, M., Cavorsi, L., Fullagar, P.D., Mercuri, A.M., Monaco, A., Perego, A. and Zerboni, A. 2013. Inside the "African Cattle Complex". Animal burials in the Holocene Central Sahara. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56879. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056879.

Gallinaro, M. 2013. Saharan Rock Art: Local Dynamics and Wider Perspectives. Arts 2013, 2(4): 350-382; doi:10.3390/arts2040350. 

Zerboni, A., Biagetti, S., Massamba N'Siala, I. and S. di Lernia. 2013. Burning without slashing. Cultural and environmental implications of a traditional charcoal making technology in the central Sahara. Journal of Arid Environments 98: 126–131.


Biagetti, S., A. Ait Kaci, L. Mori, and S. di Lernia. 2012. Writing the desert. The ‘Tifinagh’ rock inscriptions of the Tadrart Acacus (south-west Libya). Azania 47:153-174.

Biagetti, S., and J. M. Chalcraft. 2012. "Imagining Aridity: Human-Environment Interactions in the Acacus Mountains, South-West Libya," in Imagining Landscapes: Past, Present, and Future, Anthropological Studies of Creativity and Perception. Edited by M. Janowski and T. Ingold, pp. 77-95. Farnham: Asghate.

di Lernia, S. 2012. Thoughts on the rock art of the Tadrart Acacus Mts., SW Libya. Adoranten 2012: 19-37.

di Lernia, S., I. Massamba N'siala, and A. M. Mercuri. 2012. Saharan prehistoric basketry. Archaeological and archaeobotanical analysis of the early-middle Holocene assemblage from Takarkori (Acacus Mts., SW Libya). Journal of Archaeological Science 39:1837-1853.

di Lernia, S., I. Massamba N'Siala, and A. Zerboni. 2012. "‘Saharan Waterscapes’. Traditional Knowledge and Historical Depth of Water Management in the Akakus Mts. (SW Libya)," in Changing Deserts: Integrating People and their Environment. Edited by L. Mol and T. Sternberg, pp. 101-128. Cambridge: The White Horse Press.

Dunne, J., R. Evershed, M. Salque, L. Cramp, S. Bruni, K. Ryan, S. Biagetti, and S. di Lernia. 2012. First Dairying in 'Green' Saharan Africa in the 5th Millennium BC. Nature 486: 390-394.

Gallinaro, M., C. Gauthier, G. Gauthier, J.-L. Le Quellec, S. Abdel Aziz, S. Biagetti, L. Boitani, E. Cancellieri, L. Cavorsi, I. Massamba N'Siala, A. Monaco, A. Vanzetti, A. Zerboni, and S. di Lernia. 2012. "The Messak Project. Cultural and Natural Preservation and Sustainable Tourism (south-western Libya)," in Antiquity Project Gallery, vol. 086.


Cremaschi, M., and A. Zerboni. 2011. "Human communities in a drying landscape. Holocene climate change and cultural response in the central Sahara.," in Landscape and Societies. Edited by I. P. Martini and W. Chesworth, pp. 67-89. Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York: Springer Science.

di Lernia, S., and M. Gallinaro 2011. Working in a UNESCO WH site. Problems and practices on the rock art of the Tadrart Acacus (SW Libya, central Sahara). Journal of African Archaeology 9:159-175.

Mercuri, A. M., L. Sadori, and P. Uzquiamo Ollero. 2011. Mediterranean and north-African cultural adaptations to mid-Holocene environmental and climatic changes. The Holocene 21:189-206.

Olmi, L., A. M. Mercuri, M. T. P. Gilbert, S. Biagetti, S. Fordyce, E. Cappellini, I. Massamba N’siala, and S. di Lernia. 2011. "Morphological and geneticanalyses of early-mid Holocene wild cereals from the Takarkori rockshelter (central Sahara, Libya): first results and prospects," in Windows on the African Past: Contemporary Approaches to African Archaeobotany, Reports in African Archaeology. Edited by A. G. Fahmy, S. Kahlheber, and A. C. D’Andrea, pp. 175-184. Frankfurt Africa Magna Verlag.

Perego, A., A. Zerboni, and M. Cremaschi. 2011. The geomorphological map of the Messak Settafet and Mellet (Central Sahara, SW Libya). Journal of Maps v2011: 464-475.

Zerboni, A. 2011. An early Holocene transitory arid phase in the central Sahara at the time of the 8.2 Ky BP climate anomaly. Il Quaternario 24: 225-227.

Zerboni, A., L. Trombino, and M. Cremaschi. 2011. Micromorphological approach to polycyclic pedogenesis on the Messak Settafet plateau (central Sahara): Formative processes and palaeoenvironmental significance. Geomorphology 125: 319-335.


di Lernia, S., and M. Gallinaro. 2010. The date and context of Neolithic rock art in the Sahara: engravings and ceremonial monuments from Messak Settafet (south-west Libya). Antiquity 84:954-975.

di Lernia, S., M. Gallinaro, and A. Zerboni. 2010. Unesco Word Heritage Site vandalized. Report on damages to Acacus rock art paintings (SW Libya). Sahara 21: 59-76.

Cremaschi, M., A. Zerboni, C. Spötl, and F. Felletti. 2010. The calcareous tufa in the Tadrart Acacus Mt. (SW Fezzan, Libya). An early Holocene palaeoclimate archive in the central Sahara. Palaeogeography,Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 287:81-94.