Recent publications

List of selected publications (last few years)


Mercuri, A. M., R. Fornaciari, M. Gallinaro, S. Vanin and S. di Lernia (2018). "Plant behaviour from human imprints and the cultivation of wild cereals in Holocene Sahara." Nature Plants 4(2): 71-81.

Gallinaro, M., and di Lernia S. 2018. "Trapping or tethering stones (TS): A multifunctional device in the Pastoral Neolithic of the Sahara."  PLOS ONE 13 (1):e0191765. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191765.


di Lernia, S. 2017. "The Archaeology of Rock Art in Northern Africa." In The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Rock Art, edited by David Bruno and J. McNiven Ian, 1-35. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

di Lernia, S. 2017. Archeologia Africana. Preistoria, Storia Antica e Arte Rupestre. Roma: Carocci Editore.

Dunne, J., S. di Lernia, M. Chłodnicki, F. Kherbouche, and R. P. Evershed. 2017. "Timing and pace of dairying inception and animal husbandry practices across Holocene North Africa."  Quaternary International. doi:


Cancellieri, E., M. Cremaschi, A. Zerboni, and S. di Lernia. 2016. "Climate, Environment, and Population Dynamics in Pleistocene Sahara." In Africa from MIS 6-2: Population Dynamics and Palaeoenvironments, edited by S. Johnes and B. Steward, 123-145. Dordrecht: Springer Science.

Dunne, Julie, Anna Maria Mercuri, Richard P. Evershed, Silvia Bruni, and Savino di Lernia. 2016. "Earliest direct evidence of plant processing in prehistoric Saharan pottery."  Nature Plants 3:16194. doi: 10.1038/nplants.2016.194.


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.