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The younger Dryas and Preboreal landscape in the Moervaart area (northwestern Belgium) and the apparent decrease in human occupation

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Abstract
This paper presents the results of multi-disciplinary research carried out on the deposits of a residual channel (“Peerdemeers”) of the Kale/Durme River in the Moervaart depression, NW Belgium. The combination of physical, botanical, zoological and chemical analyses allowed a detailed reconstruction of the channel ecosystem and the vegetation in the surrounding landscape during the Younger Dryas and Early Holocene. A chronology for the record was provided by radiocarbon dating. Vegetation patterns were influenced by major climate changes that occurred during this period. During the early Younger Dryas, the river channel was active and vegetation was open with scattered birch copses, shrubs, grasses and herbs. The channel was cut-off in the late Younger Dryas, while some heath developed in the area. The Friesland Phase is characterised by a lithological change and increase in water level in the residual channel. Dwarf birch disappeared and boreal forests developed. The area however, remained relatively open compared to other coversand areas in NW Europe. The Rammelbeek Phase is considered as a drier, more continental climate phase in which forest expansion was temporarily interrupted and grasslands became more abundant. Also at the “Peerdemeers” site an increase in grasses is recorded. During the entire period (ca. 1,000 years) there is no hard evidence for human activity. The absence of archaeological evidence is in sharp contrast with the preceding (Allerød) and succeeding periods (Boreal). This suggests that environmental conditions during the YD and PB were probably too unfavourable for hunter-gatherers to remain in the Moervaart area.
Keywords
Late-glacial/early Holocene transition, Multi-proxy analyses, Palynology, Climate, Hunter-gatherers, Belgium, PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE TRANSITION, MULTI-PROXY, EVENT STRATIGRAPHY, CLIMATIC CHANGES, NW BELGIUM, LAKE, ASSEMBLAGES, NETHERLANDS, RECORD, RECONSTRUCTION

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Citation

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Chicago
Bos, Johanna, Vanessa Gelorini, Thijs Van der Meeren, Jolien Peleman, Mona Court-Picon, Hendrik Demiddele, Philippe De Smedt, et al. 2018. “The Younger Dryas and Preboreal Landscape in the Moervaart Area (northwestern Belgium) and the Apparent Decrease in Human Occupation.” Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 27 (5): 697–715.
APA
Bos, Johanna, Gelorini, V., Van der Meeren, T., Peleman, J., Court-Picon, M., Demiddele, H., De Smedt, P., et al. (2018). The younger Dryas and Preboreal landscape in the Moervaart area (northwestern Belgium) and the apparent decrease in human occupation. VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY , 27(5), 697–715.
Vancouver
1.
Bos J, Gelorini V, Van der Meeren T, Peleman J, Court-Picon M, Demiddele H, et al. The younger Dryas and Preboreal landscape in the Moervaart area (northwestern Belgium) and the apparent decrease in human occupation. VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY . 2018;27(5):697–715.
MLA
Bos, Johanna, Vanessa Gelorini, Thijs Van der Meeren, et al. “The Younger Dryas and Preboreal Landscape in the Moervaart Area (northwestern Belgium) and the Apparent Decrease in Human Occupation.” VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY 27.5 (2018): 697–715. Print.
@article{8543740,
  abstract     = { This paper presents the results of multi-disciplinary research carried out on the deposits of a residual channel ({\textquotedblleft}Peerdemeers{\textquotedblright}) of the Kale/Durme River in the Moervaart depression, NW Belgium. The combination of physical, botanical, zoological and chemical analyses allowed a detailed reconstruction of the channel ecosystem and the vegetation in the surrounding landscape during the Younger Dryas and Early Holocene. A chronology for the record was provided by radiocarbon dating. Vegetation patterns were influenced by major climate changes that occurred during this period. During the early Younger Dryas, the river channel was active and vegetation was open with scattered birch copses, shrubs, grasses and herbs. The channel was cut-off in the late Younger Dryas, while some heath developed in the area. The Friesland Phase is characterised by a lithological change and increase in water level in the residual channel. Dwarf birch disappeared and boreal forests developed. The area however, remained relatively open compared to other coversand areas in NW Europe. The Rammelbeek Phase is considered as a drier, more continental climate phase in which forest expansion was temporarily interrupted and grasslands became more abundant. Also at the {\textquotedblleft}Peerdemeers{\textquotedblright} site an increase in grasses is recorded. During the entire period (ca. 1,000 years)
there is no hard evidence for human activity. The absence of archaeological evidence is in sharp contrast with the preceding (Aller{\o}d) and succeeding periods (Boreal). This suggests that environmental conditions during the YD and PB were probably too unfavourable for hunter-gatherers to remain in the Moervaart area.},
  author       = {Bos, Johanna and Gelorini, Vanessa and Van der Meeren, Thijs and Peleman, Jolien and Court-Picon, Mona and Demiddele, Hendrik and De Smedt, Philippe and Boudin, Mathieu and Verniers, Jacques and Boeckx, Pascal and Cromb{\'e}, Philippe},
  issn         = {0939-6314},
  journal      = {VEGETATION HISTORY AND ARCHAEOBOTANY },
  keyword      = {Late-glacial/early Holocene transition,Multi-proxy analyses,Palynology,Climate,Hunter-gatherers,Belgium,PLEISTOCENE-HOLOCENE TRANSITION,MULTI-PROXY,EVENT STRATIGRAPHY,CLIMATIC CHANGES,NW BELGIUM,LAKE,ASSEMBLAGES,NETHERLANDS,RECORD,RECONSTRUCTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {697--715},
  title        = {The younger Dryas and Preboreal landscape in the Moervaart area (northwestern Belgium) and the apparent decrease in human occupation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00334-017-0666-3},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2018},
}

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