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Article

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

1
Institute of Neotectonics and Natural Hazards, RWTH Aachen University, 52062 Aachen, Germany
2
Department of Geodynamics, Stratigraphy and Paleontology, Fac. Geological Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
3
Environmental Archaeology Research Group, Institute of History (CCHS), C.S.I.C., 28037 Madrid, Spain
4
Institute for Prehistoric Archaeology, Cologne University, 50923 Köln, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jordi Revelles
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3580; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083580
Received: 29 March 2021 / Revised: 11 April 2021 / Accepted: 13 April 2021 / Published: 16 April 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: palaeoenvironment; mesolithic; neolithic; palynology; geochemistry; SW Iberian Coast palaeoenvironment; mesolithic; neolithic; palynology; geochemistry; SW Iberian Coast
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Figure 1

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: https://zenodo.org/deposit/4646170
    Description: The dataset contains a list of the archaeological sites from SW Iberia included in the paper.
MDPI and ACS Style

Val-Peón, C.; Santisteban, J.I.; López-Sáez, J.A.; Weniger, G.-C.; Reicherter, K. Environmental Changes and Cultural Transitions in SW Iberia during the Early-Mid Holocene. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 3580. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083580

AMA Style

Val-Peón C, Santisteban JI, López-Sáez JA, Weniger G-C, Reicherter K. Environmental Changes and Cultural Transitions in SW Iberia during the Early-Mid Holocene. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(8):3580. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083580

Chicago/Turabian Style

Val-Peón, Cristina, Juan I. Santisteban, José A. López-Sáez, Gerd-Christian Weniger, and Klaus Reicherter. 2021. "Environmental Changes and Cultural Transitions in SW Iberia during the Early-Mid Holocene" Applied Sciences 11, no. 8: 3580. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083580

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