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Amersfoort, Netherlands

Kubiak-Martens L.,BIAX Consult | Brinkkemper O.,Cultural Heritage Agency | Oudemans T.F.M.,Kenaz Consult for Advice and Analysis in Biomolecular Archaeology
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

In the coastal area of the northwestern part of the Netherlands, dozens of sites dating to the Single Grave culture (or Corded Ware culture; 2850–2450 cal bc) have been located. Some of the sites have been excavated in the last decades of the 20th century. Within the framework of the Odyssey project of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the excavated materials from three sites (Keinsmerbrug, Mienakker and Zeewijk) could be fully analysed. The results of archaeobotanical research, including the combined botanical and chemical analyses of organic residues (crusts) in ceramics, as well as the study of isolated remains of processed plant food and charred remains of parenchymatous tissue are presented. It is extremely challenging to find out what kind of food people prepared in the past and to determine actual prehistoric vessel use, to understand what kind of meals people prepared in ceramic vessels, what pots they used for what kind of foods, and if they used the same types of pots for the same foods all the time. The results obtained for the three sites are compared to the existing, dichotomous model developed for habitation of the Single Grave culture in the area, with small special activity sites and large permanent settlements. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

The paper reports on a Magdalenian open-air site at Eyserheide in the hilly landscape of the southern Netherlands. The site, located on the southern margin of an elevated and loess-covered plateau, comprises stone artefacts made from different types of local Cretaceous flint. Using data of refitting, a comparison has proofed meaningful between technological characteristics of the flint material of Eyserheide and those of 'classic' Magdalenian sites in the Paris Basin. Moreover, despite disturbances of the archaeological layer by bioturbation and ploughing, intra-spatial analysis has provided valuable information on the organization and use of the camp site. Judging from the results of the ring and sector method, the knapping of flint and the manufacturing and use of tools in the main activity area took place in the open air, presumably in the vicinity of a small hearth. In this find-rich area, several nodules were worked according to le débitage magdalénien classique, which indicates the presence of at least one experienced flint knapper in the camp site of Eyserheide. For Eyserheide and some other excavated open-air sites (Sweikhuizen-GP, Alsdorf) in the same loess area, an interpretation as temporary base camps of small social units is considered likely. Taking into account the occurrence of Dutch Cretaceous flints in Andernach and Gönnersdorf, the sites can be related to the Magdalenian occupation of the Central Rhineland. Radiocarbon dates of both German sites date in an indirect way these northern loess sites at the end of the Pleniglacial and prior to the prominent and sudden warming that marks the beginning of the Late Glacial interstadial. For Orp-le-Grand on the Hesbaye Plateau in Belgium a connection with cave sites south of Namur is indicated by the use of similar flint in these sites. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Brinkkemper O.,Cultural Heritage Agency | van Haaster H.,BIAX
Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology

Eggs of some intestinal parasites survive acetolysis and can therefore be found in pollen slides. Especially pollen samples from medieval cesspits can yield large amounts of eggs of whipworm (Trichuris) and mawworm (Ascaris). Eggs of mawworm (also named giant roundworm) have never been assigned a type number in the large range of types published by Van Geel and co-authors, in contrast to those of whipworm (Type 531). This contribution to the special issue for Bas van Geel tries to shed light on these neglected remains, discussing both their identification and their interpretation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Deltaic land inundated by storm surges may reform by sedimentation from natural or human-induced river diversions. This is a well-known trigger mechanism for creation of new channels in coastal plains and deltas, which may develop into main channels and lead to abandonment of older (avulsion), particularly in the downstream parts of deltas that host tidal rivers. These new channels develop as part of deltaic splay complexes that heal initial diversion scars and fill up flooded basins at a certain pace.We study a case with excellent historical and geological data of a diversion of the river Rhine following catastrophic inundations (1421-1424. AD) into medieval reclaimed land. Numerical modelling of deltaic splay and channel development is combined with reconstructions from historical maps and geological data. This yields detailed insight in pacing of splay sedimentation and changing hydrodynamics in the channel upstream of the diversion in the two centuries following the inundation.The equivalent of the full sand budget of the river Rhine was effectively trapped in the developing splay. The tidal-avulsion splay evolution on aspects is similar to that of fluvial crevassing into flood basins documented for settings lacking 'downstream' tidal control. The typical small-scale delta-lobe avulsion cycles: mouth bar formation, backward sedimentation, upstream avulsion, channel progradation and mouth bar formation are reproduced in the splay-modelling. The pacing of splay development, however, is relatively fast due to the presence of tides and the water depth in the receiving basin. The diversion had a strong upstream impact, in particular on water levels in the feeding river channel at stages of peak flow. For two centuries levels were significantly raised, because bifurcation-imposed reduced transport capacity and associated sedimentation at the diversion site increased hydraulic roughness and hampered flow.These findings have implications regarding flood mitigation for presently-planned lower-delta engineered diversions. Furthermore, they elucidate the differences between upstream fluvial avulsion and downstream tidal-river avulsion that are important to recognise if we want to understand how deltaic distributary-networks are maintained. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. Source

Heyvaert V.M.A.,Geological Survey of Belgium | Walstra J.,Ghent University | Verkinderen P.,Ghent University | Verkinderen P.,The Netherlands Flemish Institute in Cairo | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International

This study is concerned with the Late Holocene floodplain history of the Karkheh River in Lower Khuzestan, and in particular with the role of human action upon its channel shifts. The research was conducted in a multidisciplinary way, in which resources and approaches from different research fields were combined: (1) geomorphological mapping based on the interpretation of Landsat and CORONA satellite imagery, (2) analyses of geological sequences, including the identification of sedimentary facies and radiocarbon dating of organic material, (3) an archaeological field survey of ancient settlements, and (4) consultation of historical documents, mainly Arabic texts from the 9th-14th century and European travel literature from the 16th-early 20th century. Three main channel belts of the Karkheh were identified (labelled Kh1, Kh2 and Kh3), corresponding to successive stages in the evolution of the floodplain. Two river shifts are documented in the datasets, both taking place within the last 2000 years. The first avulsion regards a shift from channel belt Kh1, once a tributary of the Karun, to the straight river bed of Kh2, taking place at least after 1240-1310cal BP/710-640 AD. The second avulsion, from Kh2 to Kh3, is clearly documented in historical sources and happened in a single night event in the year 1837/113cal BP. Reactivation of the Kh2 river bed and its irrigation canals can be attributed to the recent construction of an artificial canal bypassing the second avulsion point. Both river shifts were strongly influenced by human interference, whereby an artificial irrigation canal took over the entire river flow from the main channel belt. Most likely, a combination of human-induced factors, such as weakening of the river levees, high sedimentation rates and disadvantageous channel gradients, led to a situation prone to avulsion. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

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