Environmental Changes and Cultural Transitions in SW Iberia during the Early-Mid Holocene



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Val-Peón, Cristina and Santisteban Navarro, Juan Ignacio and López Saez, José Antonio and Weniger, Gerd-Christian and Reicherter, Klaus (2021) Environmental Changes and Cultural Transitions in SW Iberia during the Early-Mid Holocene. Applied Sciences, 11 (3580). ISSN 2076-3417

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083580


The SW coast of the Iberian Peninsula experiences a lack of palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data. With the aim to fill this gap, we contribute with a new palynological and geochemical dataset obtained from a sediment core drilled in the continental shelf of the Algarve coast. Archaeological data have been correlated with our multi-proxy dataset to understand how human groups adapted to environmental changes during the Early-Mid Holocene, with special focus on the Mesolithic to Neolithic transition. Vegetation trends indicate warm conditions at the onset of the Holocene followed by increased moisture and forest development ca. 10–7 ka BP, after which woodlands are progressively replaced by heaths. Peaks of aridity were identified at 8.2 and 7. 5 ka BP. Compositional, textural, redox state, and weathering of source area geochemical proxies indicates abrupt palaeoceanographic modifications and gradual terrestrial changes at 8.2 ka BP, while the 7.5 ka BP event mirrors a decrease in land moisture availability. Mesolithic sites are mainly composed of seasonal camps with direct access to the coast for the exploitation of local resources. This pattern extends into the Early Neolithic, when these sites coexist with seasonal and permanent occupations located in inland areas near rivers. Changes in settlement patterns and dietary habits may be influenced by changes in coastal environments caused by the sea-level rise and the impact of the 8.2 and 7.5 ka BP climate events.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:palaeoenvironment, mesolithic, neolithic, palynology, geochemistry, SW Iberian Coast
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Stratigraphic geology
Sciences > Geology > Geochemistry
Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:65505
Deposited On:14 May 2021 14:16
Last Modified:19 May 2021 14:31

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