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Testing micro-regional variability in the Holocene shaping of high mountain cultural landscapes: a palaeoenvironmental case-study in the Eastern Pyrenees
Ejarque, Ana; Miras, Yannick; Riera i Mora, Santiago; Palet i Martínez, Josep M.; Orengo Romeu, Hector A.
Previous research acknowledges the ancient and complex land-use history of European mountainous areas, which are characterised by a remarkable regional variability in terms of human practices and patterns of occupation during the Holocene. However, the combined palaeoenvironmental and archaeological study of highland human management at a micro-regional scale remains a largely unexplored research field, especially in the Pyrenees. A combined pollen, stomata, non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) and macrocharcoal studywas carried out at three nearby alpine and subalpine peat basins from a relatively small territory (ca.1700 ha) at the Madriu valley (Andorra, eastern Pyrenees), following a fine spatialresolution strategy. The purpose was to test the suitability of high altitudinal palaeoecological sequences when reconstructing past small-scale land-use variability. The palaeoecological results of those peat records are compared and further integrated with archaeological local data, and together underline the marked complexity of high mountain land-use system over the Holocene period. Main phases of microregional land-use and landscape variability can be distinguished from the middle Neolithic to the early Bronze Age and from the Roman Period to the Modern Era. Conversely, several phases of homogeneous landscape management are distinguishable during the early Neolithic, and from the late Bronze to the late Iron Age. Results drawn from this study show that landscape variability is not necessarily connected to topographic or climatic parameters, and underline the role of social, economical and cultural parameters in the land-use organisation and the landscape shaping of high mountain spaces since Prehistory.
2010
90 - Arqueologia. Prehistòria
Arqueologia del paisatge -- Pirineus
Pirineus -- Arqueologia
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12 p.
Article
Article
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2010.01.007
         

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