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Quaternary, Volume 1, Issue 1 (June 2018)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Quaternary—A Multidisciplinary Integrative Journal to Cope with a Complex World
Quaternary 2018, 1(1), 1; doi:10.3390/quat1010001
Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
We live in a Quaternary world, that is, a world shaped by the interplay of the different compartments of the earth system—lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere—during the last ~2.6 million years [...]
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Holocene Hydroclimate Variability in Central Scandinavia Inferred from Flood Layers in Contourite Drift Deposits in Lake Storsjön
Quaternary 2018, 1(1), 2; doi:10.3390/quat1010002
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 January 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Despite the societal importance of extreme hydroclimate events, few palaeoenvironmental studies of Scandinavian lake sediments have investigated flood occurrences. Here we present a flood history based on lithological, geochemical and mineral magnetic records of a Holocene sediment sequence collected from contourite drift deposits
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Despite the societal importance of extreme hydroclimate events, few palaeoenvironmental studies of Scandinavian lake sediments have investigated flood occurrences. Here we present a flood history based on lithological, geochemical and mineral magnetic records of a Holocene sediment sequence collected from contourite drift deposits in Lake Storsjön (63.12° N, 14.37° E). After the last deglaciation, the lake began to form around 9800 cal yr BP, but glacial activity persisted in the catchment for ~250 years. Element concentrations and mineral magnetic properties of the sediments indicate relatively stable sedimentation conditions during the Holocene. However, human impact in the form of expanding agriculture is evident from about 1100 cal yr BP, and intensified in the 20th century. Black layers containing iron sulphide appear irregularly throughout the sequence. The increased influx of organic matter during flood events led to decomposition and oxygen consumption, and eventually to anoxic conditions in the interstitial water preserving these layers. Elevated frequencies of black layer occurrence between 3600 and 1800 cal yr BP reflect vegetation changes in the catchment as well as large-scale climatic change. Soil erosion during snowmelt flood events increased with a tree line descent since the onset of the neoglacial period (~4000 cal yr BP). The peak in black layer occurrence coincides with a prominent solar minimum ~2600 cal yr BP, which may have accentuated the observed pattern due to the prevalence of a negative NAO index, a longer snow accumulation period and consequently stronger snowmelt floods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Quaternary)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Elephant and Mammoth Hunting during the Paleolithic: A Review of the Relevant Archaeological, Ethnographic and Ethno-Historical Records
Quaternary 2018, 1(1), 3; doi:10.3390/quat1010003
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Proboscideans and humans have shared habitats across the Old and New Worlds for hundreds of thousands of years. Proboscideans were included in the human diet starting from the Lower Paleolithic period and until the final stages of the Pleistocene. However, the question of
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Proboscideans and humans have shared habitats across the Old and New Worlds for hundreds of thousands of years. Proboscideans were included in the human diet starting from the Lower Paleolithic period and until the final stages of the Pleistocene. However, the question of how prehistoric people acquired proboscideans remains unresolved. Moreover, the effect of proboscidean hunting on the eventual extinction of these mega-herbivores was never seriously evaluated, probably because of the lack of acquaintance with the plethora of information available regarding proboscidean hunting by humans. The aim of this paper is to bridge this gap and bring to light the data available in order to estimate the extent and procedures of elephant and mammoth hunting by humans during the Quaternary. This study examines the archaeological evidence of proboscidean hunting during Paleolithic times, and provides a review of ethnographic and ethno-historical accounts, demonstrating a wide range of traditional elephant-hunting strategies. We also discuss the rituals accompanying elephant hunting among contemporary hunter-gatherers, further stressing the importance of elephants among hunter-gatherers. Based on the gathered data, we suggest that early humans possessed the necessary abilities to actively and regularly hunt proboscideans; and performed this unique and challenging task at will. Full article
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