Lago di Bargone, Liguria, N Italy: a reconstruction of Holocene environmental and land-use history
2009 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 19, 987-1003 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sediment micromorphology, chemistry and magnetic susceptibility of basin edge deposits at the small, mid-altitude peat site of Lago di Bargone, eastern Liguria, Italy, is compared with a full Holocene palynological sequence and radiocarbon dates from the central part of the peat bog. Micromorphology and MS550 results show that Neolithic to Copper Age forest disturbances and clearings as inferred from the pollen diagrams, occurred during a period of lower water-tables and intermittent drying out of the basin edge deposits. Extensive deforestation and expansion of heath and rassland during the Iron Age and Roman periods is associated with increases in soil erosion and in micromorphological indications of burning. It is argued that the very fine size range of the charred fragments seen in thin sections and the seeming absence of charcoal of coarser size range suggest a system of light, controlled burning, possibly akin to the local tradition of using fire to control weeds and to encourage new grass and herbaceous growth, and not local forest clearance by fire. Micromorphology of the late-Holocene peat contains herbivore dung possibly indicating the use of the site as a watering hole by domesticated stock. The overlying colluvium displays evidence of deep-seated erosion of the local soils and geology which is most likely to have been associated with local mining activities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2009. Vol. 19, 987-1003 p.
Palynology, micromorphology, chemistry, land use, soil erosion, lake sediments, Italy, Holocene
Research subject Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-31378DOI: 10.1177/0959683609343142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-31378DiVA: diva2:293222