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Mid-late Holocene environmental change and human activities in the northern Apennines, Italy

Branch, N. P. and Marini, N. A. F. (2013) Mid-late Holocene environmental change and human activities in the northern Apennines, Italy. Quaternary International, 353. pp. 34-51. ISSN 1040-6182

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.07.053

Abstract/Summary

Radiocarbon-dated palaeoecological records from the upland zone of the northern Apennines spanning the Mid-Late Holocene (last 7000 years) have been evaluated using established criteria for detecting anthropogenic impact on the landscape and environment. The integrated palaeoecological records across the study area collectively indicate human interference with natural vegetation succession and landscape modification from at least the Middle Neolithic. These activities resulted in the progressive decline of Abies, Ulmus, Fraxinus and Tilia, and the spread of Fagus, from ∼7000 cal BP, accompanied at various times by evidence for biomass burning, soil erosion, the expansion of shrubland and herbaceous taxa, and the possible cultivation of Olea, Juglans and Castanea. Comparison of these data with the archaeological scheme for the region, and the climate history of the central-western Mediterranean, has revealed that the palaeoecological records broadly support the archaeological evidence, but suggest that several key vegetation changes also coincide with important periods of climate change, especially at ∼7800–5000 cal BP.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:33628
Publisher:Elsevier

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