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The neolithisation of Liguria (NW Italy): an environmental archaeological and palaeoenvironmental perspective

Branch, N. P. ORCID:, Black, S. ORCID:, Maggi, R. and Marini, N. A. F. (2014) The neolithisation of Liguria (NW Italy): an environmental archaeological and palaeoenvironmental perspective. Environmental Archaeology: the Journal of Human Palaeoecology, 19 (3). pp. 196-213. ISSN 1749-6314

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000024


The archaeological evidence compiled for Liguria has enabled the formulation of a comprehensive model of Neolithic social, technological and economic development (∼7800–5700 cal yrs BP). The model indicates that during the Early and Middle Neolithic (∼7800–6300 cal yrs BP; ‘Impressed Ware’ and ‘Square Mouthed’ pottery cultures) human activity mainly focussed on low (coastal) and mid-altitude areas. By the Late Neolithic (∼6300–5700 cal yrs BP; ‘Chassey’ culture) farming practices were taking place over a wider range of altitudes and involved transhumant pastoralism. Complementary environmental archaeological and palaeoecological records from caves, open-air sites, lakes and mires indicate that human activities had a more significant impact on the environment than previously thought. This included clearance, especially Abies, Ulmus, Fraxinus and Tilia, and woodland utilisation and management (e.g. leaf foddering), as well as cereal cultivation and animal husbandry. The influence of Middle Holocene climatic changes, especially from ∼7800 cal yrs BP, on the direction of vegetation changes and socio-economic developments during the Neolithic remain uncertain.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:36498
Publisher:Maney for Association for Environmental Archaeology

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