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PubMed | Anglia, Navarino Environmental Observatory, National Museum of Denmark, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and 35 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Science advances | Year: 2015

Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate. To place these and other Old World climate projections into historical perspective based on more complete estimates of natural hydroclimatic variability, we have developed the Old World Drought Atlas (OWDA), a set of year-to-year maps of tree-ring reconstructed summer wetness and dryness over Europe and the Mediterranean Basin during the Common Era. The OWDA matches historical accounts of severe drought and wetness with a spatial completeness not previously available. In addition, megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes. The OWDA provides new data to determine the causes of Old World drought and wetness and attribute past climate variability to forced and/or internal variability.


Haneca K.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Daly A.,Dendro.dk
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology | Year: 2014

In 2000, the remains of a cog, Doel 1, were found in Doel, Belgium. Wood species identification of all ship timbers and smaller elements was performed. European oak was the dominant species, followed by alder that was used for the fairings. In total 150 ring-width series were recorded. The construction date was set at AD 1325/26 and the timbers proved to originate from forests along the rivers Elbe and Weser. For the bottom strakes a strict symmetrical layout was observed. The keel plank was hewn from a trunk with a slightly earlier felling date. Repairs were performed with high-quality boards, some with a southern Baltic provenance. © 2013 The Nautical Archaeology Society.


Vermeersch J.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Haneca K.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Daly A.,Dendro.dk
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology | Year: 2015

In 2002, the preserved bottom part of a wreck was excavated, identified as a cog, and named Doel 2. An interdisciplinary research programme (2010-2014), revealed that the ship was constructed after 1328 with wood from northern Poland. Complete 3D-registration of the timbers, and structural analysis showed it had a keelplank with a natural upward curve at the bow that served as a hook, and that most bottom planks were recaulked, among many other repairs. The ship ended up in 'den Deurganck', a creek near the Scheldt river where it was partially disassembled before the surviving remains were inverted, probably as a result of a flood. This paper presents the detailed recording and archaeological interpretation of the ship remains, and the results of the dendrochronological analysis. © 2015 Nautical Archaeology Society.


Delefortrie S.,Ghent University | Saey T.,Ghent University | Van De Vijver E.,Ghent University | De Smedt P.,Ghent University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Geophysics | Year: 2014

Subsurface investigation in the Belgian intertidal zone is severely complicated due to high heterogeneity and tides. Near-surface geophysical techniques can offer assistance since they allow fast surveying and collection of high spatial density data and frequency domain electromagnetic induction (EMI) was chosen for archaeological prospection on the Belgian shore. However, in the intertidal zone the effects of extreme salinity compromise validity of low-induction-number (LIN) approximated EMI data. In this paper, the effects of incursion of seawater on multi-receiver EMI data are investigated by means of survey results, field observations, cone penetration tests and in-situ electrical conductivity measurements. The consequences of LIN approximation breakdown were researched. Reduced depth of investigation of the quadrature-phase (Qu) response and a complex interpretation of the in-phase response were confirmed. Nonetheless, a high signal-to-noise ratio of the Qu response and viable data with regard to shallow subsurface investigation were also evidenced, allowing subsurface investigation in the intertidal zone. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Quintelier K.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Quintelier K.,Ghent University | Ervynck A.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Muldner G.,University of Reading | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology | Year: 2014

Stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) were measured in human burials from the post-medieval (16th-18th c. AD) Carmelite friary burial grounds at Aalst, a town in Flanders, Belgium. Dietary patterns of 39 adult individuals were analyzed, from a mixed monastic and lay population buried in three different locations, reflecting groups with differing social status. The data show significant variation in the consumption of perhaps meat, but certainly also marine protein between females and males. This result represents a remarkable continuity with medieval dietary patterns, suggesting that the social and economic changes of the early modern period had a limited effect on everyday life. When both sexes were examined together, individuals buried in the cloister garth consumed significantly less marine protein compared to people buried in the church, likely reflecting social stratification. No statistical differences were observed between isotopic values from the church and the cloister alley, suggesting a similarly diverse diet of the monastic part of the buried population and that of the richer lay population. Finally, the hypothesis that diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is linked to a diet rich in animal protein was tested. No systematic or statistically significant differences between pathological and non-pathological bones from the same individuals affected with DISH were observed, and no statistical differences were found between individuals with DISH and individuals without DISH. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Khakzad S.,Catholic University of Leuven | Pieters M.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Van Balen K.,Catholic University of Leuven
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2015

Maritime and coastal cultural landscape, encompassing land and sea, and underwater is an important part of our cultural resources in the coastal areas. Although, integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) has theoretically addressed the importance of cultural ecosystems, cultural resources have mostly been overlooked in holistic coastal management plans. Overlooking cultural resources results in loss of cultural identity associated with certain habitats; loss of tourism, recreational and educational opportunities; decline in local ecological knowledge, skills and technology pertaining to habitat management; and loss of opportunities for social and cultural capital. Literature and practice show that there is no proper definition and evaluation of coastal cultural heritage is available and coastal cultural heritage has not been considered as a resource with high level of benefit for development and people. Acknowledging the importance of coastal cultural heritage as a resource in ICZM, and the role that ICZM can play in linking land and sea management approaches highlights the necessity of new methods for defining and evaluation of coastal cultural heritage. This paper proposes models and guidelines for defining and evaluating coastal cultural heritage to be included in Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and ICZM as a resource through application of the integrative complexity theory and learning from the experiences in management of other coastal resources. The results will be an integrative evaluation method and a guideline for delineating coastal cultural areas. The method and tool will be examined through the case of Ostend in Belgium. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Haneca K.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Debonne V.,Flanders Heritage Agency
Dendrochronologia | Year: 2012

A detailed dendrochronological survey was performed on the medieval roofs of the Church of Our Lady (CoOL) in Damme, Belgium. Seen its complex architectural history, special attention was paid to the identification of consecutive building phases, based on combined architectural historical research and tree-ring dating. In total 64 increment cores were taken throughout the roof structures of the CoOL. All roof timbers are made of European oak (Quercus robur/. petraea), of which only few have surviving sapwood or bark. Tree-ring dating confirms the late 13th/early 14th century construction date of the roofs. For all chronologies that were composed, the highest correlation values are found with reference chronologies covering the catchment area of the river Meuse. From the dating results of the timbers of the CoOL it becomes clear that the same timber source was used for nearly a century. On several of the examined roof timbers, rafting joints were observed, demonstrating that the timbers were indeed tied together as a raft and floated down the river.By implementing sapwood estimates in a Bayesian chronological model (OxCal), tree-ring series with surviving sapwood from coeval roof structures were combined in order to narrow down the time range for the felling date. Based on the refined interpretation of the felling dates, several consecutive building phases can now be identified and dated, leading to a new interpretation of the architectural history of the CoOL. Intriguingly, a marked interruption in building activities is observed around 1300. Probably this is related to the instable political situation at that time, caused by the armed conflict that emerged between the Count of Flanders and the king of France. Since Damme served as the outport of the riotous city of Bruges, it was alternately seized by the French and Flemish, both consuming considerable amounts of timber and other building materials for military fortifications. Potentially this led to a shortage in building materials and provoked a stop in building activities.This paper demonstrates the power of Bayesian models to refine the interpretation of dendrochronological dates in architectural analyses of medieval historical buildings. © 2011 Istituto Italiano di Dendrocronologia.


Debruyne S.,Flanders Heritage Agency
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2014

Inspired by archaeological finds from Kilise Tepe in southern Turkey, this paper explains how the internal structure of nacreous shell can indicate which type of shell was its source. Previous work in the biological sciences demonstrated that it is possible to distinguish between gastropods/cephalopods and bivalves by observing the arrangement of the aragonite tablets in the nacreous layer, and that the thickness of these tablets is fairly constant within taxa but can differ between them. This study verifies these properties by scanning electron microscopy on modern and ancient material, and discusses the benefit in the field of archaeology. The text is not the result of full-scale research but rather a proof of concept to explore the potential of the topic. It is shown that the difference between gastropods/cephalopods and bivalves can indeed be established by looking at the internal architecture of their mother-of-pearl, but that it is problematic to further discriminate between taxa. The thickness of the aragonite tablets is not a reliable distinctive feature. The microstructure of the overlying prismatic layer is a useful parameter when it is preserved. © 2014 Association for Environmental Archaeology.


Deforce K.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Deforce K.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Haneca K.,Flanders Heritage Agency
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The growth-ring pattern and basal area increment (BAI) of round wood charcoal fragments from Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana, Fraxinus excelsior and Quercus sp. from a 14th century archaeological context has been studied and compared to those of modern samples from both coppice woodland and dominant trees in high forests. The archaeological charcoal fragments show a strong initial growth rate, but after 4-8 years this starts to decrease for all investigated taxa. For Fraxinus excelsior, the decrease generally occurs after 9-11 years. In general, this trend in ring width is comparable to the one observed on samples from modern day coppice and is clearly different for the samples from high-forest stands where ring width generally starts to decrease after a much longer period or at a much lower rate. BAI-values can be interpreted in a similar way, where these values for both the archaeological charcoal fragments and shoots from modern coppice reach a plateau or start a decreasing trend after 4-8 years. In contrast, BAI values for high-forest trees show a continuous increase. The results indicate that studying the tree-ring pattern and BAI of roundwood charcoal fragments from archaeological contexts might be a useful approach for the reconstruction of past woodland management and the identification of (pre)historic coppice. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Vermeersch J.,Flanders Heritage Agency | Haneca K.,Flanders Heritage Agency
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology | Year: 2015

In 2000, a well-preserved, c.21 m-long shipwreck, Doel 1, was found upside-down in a silted-up creek near the river Scheldt (Belgium). An interdisciplinary research project was initiated, including 3D registration of all timbers, wood species identification, dendrochronology and archaeobotanical analysis of the caulking material. Doel 1, of which 70% is preserved, displays the construction features of a cog. Unseasoned wood was used and dated by dendrochronology to AD 1325/26. Remarkable features include the symmetrical layout of the bottom planks, the atypical arrangement of the frames to the fore, and evidence of partial dissassembly of the ship after intensive use. © 2014 The Nautical Archaeology Society.

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