Within the project ‘Harvesting Memories: Ecology and Archaeology of Monti Sicani Landscapes’, this paper aims to reconstruct human–environment interactions in the inland areas of Western Sicily during the Early Middle Ages through a comparative analysis of environmental archaeological data. We analyse carpological and anthracological finds and faunal remains originating from different layers of the rural settlement of Contrada Castro (Corleone, Palermo), excavated in 2017–2019. The site was mainly occupied between the Byzantine and Islamic periods (late 8th to 11th c. AD). The examination of wood charcoal enabled the identification of plant species selected and exploited in the landscape of the site for each main chronological period. The archaeobotanical data indicated a precise, qualitative picture on the historical vegetation of this area, accompanied with the agricultural practices of the communities.
The zooarchaeological data added further information on the reconstruction of rural economy and animal exploitation patterns. An integrated comparison of the characteristic landscape and the archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data presented the dynamics of agricultural strategy, wood exploitation, and management of animal resources of an early medieval rural community in Western Sicily.