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Ecological patterns and use of natural resources during the Neolithic of the south of the Iberian Peninsula: An update from the 6th to 4th millennia cal BC sequence of Dehesilla Cave.

AuthorsGarcía Rivero, Daniel; Pérez Jordá, Guillem ; García Viñas, Esteban; López Sáez, José Antonio ; Taylor, Ruth; Peña-Chocarro, Leonor ; Bernáldez-Sánchez, Eloísa; Pérez Díaz, Sebastián
Western Europe
Data analysis
Vegetation and animal dynamics
Human ecological patterns
Issue Date2019
PublisherPergamon Press
CitationQuaternary Science Reviews 219: 218-235 (2019)
AbstractThis paper presents the archaeobotanical and archaeozoological data of the 6th to 4th millennia cal BC sequence recently documented at Dehesilla Cave, and puts forward an interdisciplinary approach to the significant ecological patterns from this key archaeological site in the Southern Iberian Peninsula throughout the entire Neolithic period. Results indicate an ecological scenario characterised mainly by oak and wild olive forests, and human populations with agricultural practices and herds of mainly sheep and goats. However, this general panorama must have undergone several remarkable fluctuations. The first Neolithic populations of Dehesilla Cave, dated around the mid-6th millennium cal BC and linked to the Mediterranean impressa pottery complex, do not yet display evidences of agriculture, while all of the subsequent Early Neolithic levels indicate a model of small-scale populations with a mixed economy but still with a greater component of livestock. The second quarter of the 5th millennium cal BC shows a marked accentuation of the monoculture of naked wheats, which could have been related to the transition from an intensive to an extensive farming system. This may have entailed a selective pressure on the environment, leading to a large deforestation spanning the second half of the 5th millennium cal BC and the constitution of relatively open thermo-Mediterranean forests with a physiognomy similar to that of the dehesa. These ecological patterns are discussed within a review of the current state of the art of the use of plant and animal resources by the Neolithic human populations in the southern regions of the Iberian Peninsula
Publisher version (URL)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277379119301283
Identifiersdoi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.07.010
issn: 0277-3791
Appears in Collections:(CCHS-IH) Artículos
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