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Billamboz A.,Dendrochronologisches Labor
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2014

In Europe the mature stage in the life cycles of cockchafers, 3-4 years for Melolontha melolontha L. and 4 years for Melolontha hippocastani Fabr., often causes foliage damage in deciduous forests. Within the scope of dendrochronology, secondary effects on wood production have been generally observed in treering series of rather old oak trees. Flight years were detected by eye and/or sign-test (Gleichläufigkeit) principally with reference to a 50-year long schematic model representing the cockchafer's reproduction cycles. In the SW German dendroarchaeological record, the detection of cockchafer effects in short oak tree-ring series from different periods has led to a reconsideration of the mode of calculation, which now takes into account a shorter time span which is in better agreement with the development of the cockchafer populations (∼30 years) and paying particular attention to the calendar distribution of the cockchafer flight systems known in the region North of the Alps. In the case of the 3-year cycle of M. melolontha, the distribution of the recorded years shows three superimposed, 1-year shifted middle frequency signals almost corresponding to the development of cockchafer populations and their three known flight systems (A: Basel; B: Berne; C: Uri). Consequently, regional patterns reflecting this development in space and time can be used as support for dating short tree-ring sequences and also for the question of timber supply and dendroprovenancing. Moreover, gradation cycles of cockchafer populations along with the frequency of mass outbreaks can be evaluated from an ecological and climatological perspective, with respect to human clearing activities and short- to middle-term changes of landscape. © 2014 Association for Environmental Archaeology.

The southern Marmara region experienced intensive archaeological research in the last decades. In contrast, investigations aiming on the human exploitation of the natural resource in the surroundings of the archaeological sites are relatively scarce. Excavations at the settlement site at Aktopraklik, Province Bursa, Turkey provided the opportunity to analyze charcoal from the archaeological layers dating to the Late Neolithic to Early Chalcolithic. Wood charcoal data from the sediment samples allow for the reconstruction of a mixed deciduous oak forest in the site's surroundings during the whole occupation. At least three settlement phases can be distinguished, between 6400 and 5500cal.BC, providing the opportunity of a comparis on of wood acquisition strategies during the three settlement phases. Charcoal data is used to get insight into local vegetation and give new insights into the Mid-Holocene landscape. The results complement existing regional pollen data and reflect manifold vegetation on local scale. Throughout the three phases, scattered charcoal from cultural layers and charcoal concentrations from archaeologically identified pits provides additional insights into the acquisition of fuel wood and the discrimination of single taxa. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Knapp H.,University of Kiel | Nelle O.,Dendrochronologisches Labor | Kirleis W.,University of Kiel
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Anthracological analysis is increasingly used to reconstruct natural and anthropogenic woodland dynamics. Here, we combine macro-charcoal records from charcoal production sites (kiln sites) with such from archaeological sites to elucidate past forest composition and its dependency on past fuel economy and human resource management.The anthracological investigations of seven medieval smelting sites in the Harz Mountains provide detailed information about past fuel and woodland usage. First, the charcoal records allow for separation of chronological phases within the archaeological sites. Second, a selection of distinct wood species is identified for the different smelting activities (silver-copper-production). Third, in addition to reconstructing the human activities related to ore smelting, it remains possible to reconstruct the local vegetation in the surroundings of the former smelting sites.The new anthracological investigations of kiln sites in the Harz Mountains focus on higher elevations (>600mNN) and date to (early) modern times, showing a temporal and spatial shift of woodland exploitation to more remote, higher elevated areas. As expected, all typical taxa of the natural montane woodlands were used. Thus, local topographical conditions and natural woodland composition mainly regulate wood usage rather than human selection. Picea abies is the dominant species in all the records. However, surprisingly, local scale expansion of the montane beech woodland (Calamagrostio villosae-Fagetum) was identified, which reaches areas that today are fully covered by spruce woodland. Thus, the new results contradict the previously accepted assumption that the Harz Mountains above 750mNN were covered by pure, natural stands of spruce until the 17th century. A recommendation for the woodland conservancy concept of the Harz national park, which includes tree planting to push woodland renaturalization is to add the planting of Fagus and Acer in elevations above 600m. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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