Institute of History

Madrid, Spain

Institute of History

Madrid, Spain
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Quiros Castillo J.A.,University of the Basque Country | Nicosia C.,Roosevelt University | Polo-Diaz A.,University of the Basque Country | Polo-Diaz A.,University of Stirling | Ruiz del Arbol M.,Institute of History
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

This work illustrates the results of a geoarchaeological study carried out at two medieval deserted villages in the Basque Country. These were investigated during large-scale excavations, which exposed inhabited areas alongside production spaces. At Zaballa (Iruña de Oca, Álava), a terrace system from the 10th century AD was studied. At Zornoztegi (Salvatierra, Álava), thick backfill units deposited for agricultural purposes between the late 11th and the early 12th century AD were analyzed. Traces of vegetation clearance, possibly by means of fire, were observed in both sites. Soil micromorphological and physicochemical analyses allowed for the reconstruction of the formation processes of these agricultural spaces, and demonstrated the human impact on the local soilscapes. A multi-proxy approach was applied in order to determine the chronology and to identify the crops that were grown in these agricultural contexts. At Zaballa, terraces were probably used to grow vines, whereas the backfill units of Zornoztegi were linked to cereal growth and to horticulture. Results are discussed in comparison to other sites in the Basque Country and northern Iberia, highlighting a generalized transformation of rural settlements between the 6th and the 12th century AD. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Perez-Diaz S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Perez-Diaz S.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez-Saez J.A.,Institute of History | Galop D.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

The present paper summarises the evolution of the vegetation and the evidences of anthropisation in the Western Pyrenees (Northern Iberian Peninsula) during the Holocene. All the palynological studies published about this region, about both natural and archaeological deposits, have been compiled, and special attention is paid on the available radiocarbon dates. We also present new results of the palynological study of the peat bog of Atxuri (Navarre). The main results document the arboreal colonisation in the early Holocene, the first evidences of anthropisation associated with the Early Neolithic (ca. 5500-4500calBC); the consolidation of a productive economy (agriculture and pastoralism) in the Middle/Late Neolithic (ca. 4500-3200calBC) and above all in the Chalcolithic (ca. 3200-2200calBC); and the rise of complex urban societies in the Bronze Age (ca. 2200-900calBC) and Iron Age (ca. 900-200calBC) and their impact on the vegetation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Perez-Diaz S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Perez-Diaz S.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez-Saez J.A.,Institute of History | Ruiz-Alonso M.,Institute of History | And 2 more authors.
Lazaroa | Year: 2013

Pérez-Díaz, S., López-Sáez, J.A., Ruiz-Alonso, M., Zapata, L., & Abel-Schaad, D. Holocene history of Taxus baccata in the Basque Mountains (Northern Iberian Peninsula). Lazaroa 34: 29-41 (2013). Palaeobotanical studies are a very interesting tool for evaluating past vegetation, climatic variability and human pressure on the landscape. In this paper we offer an overview of Holocene evolution of the yew (Taxus baccata L.) in the Basque Mountains (Northern Iberian Peninsula). For this purpose, we have collected all macro- and micro-remain evidence of the presence of yew within its chronological framework. The results suggest the existence of a period of expansion of yew populations during the Middle Holocene and a regression phase in the Late Holocene. © 2013. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Fernandez Mier M.,University of León | Fernandez J.F.,La Ponte Ecomuseu | Alonso Gonzalez P.,University of Cambridge | Antonio Lopez Saez J.,Institute of History | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

This paper presents the results of a series of studies conducted in two villages located in the region of Asturias, north of the Iberian Peninsula. These studies explore medieval settlements as well as agricultural and cattle farming activities in these villages, with a special focus on areas still inhabited today as well as surrounding productive spaces. An interdisciplinary methodology was used, which involves pollen and sedimentological analyses, physical and chemical soil analyses, and includes micromorphological studies and radiocarbon dating. These data are combined with the interpretation of stratigraphic information derived from archaeological excavations. The areas of study in the village of Vigaña comprise the necropolis and a nearby meadow, which provided a stratigraphic sequence from the Neolithic era to the present day, and are characterized by the continued significance of farming activities. In Villanueva, meanwhile, both village areas and productive spaces were excavated, which provided information from the Roman period, and revealed the existence of combined agricultural and farming activities since the early medieval era. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Ruiz-Alonso M.,Institute of History | Zapata L.,University of the Basque Country
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

In this paper, we present a synthetic view of the results of anthracological studies in the Western Pyrenean Region during the Holocene. With this aim, we have compiled the results of wood charcoal analyses from archaeological sites taking into account that this region can be divided into several biogeographic areas. Firstly, we present the Aizpea archaeological site in the Pyrenees. Secondly, the deposits of Pico Ramos, Kobeaga II and El Mirón in the Coastal Area are described. Moving to the central part, into the Transition area, we describe the data of Mendandia as the main representative site, although the nearby sites of Atxoste, Kampanoste, and Kanpanoste Goikoa are also mentioned. Finally, for the southern sector of the Ebro Valley, we explain the archaeological sites of Peña Parda and Peña Larga. In addition, some specific issues that have been observed in some plant species found in this environment are also addressed. The main results show the use of different types of wood located near the archaeological sites and, in some particular cases, the selection of one of them. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

News Article | February 15, 2017

Strikes of lightning, fires, wars - not only ravages of time left their traces on Heidelberg Castle. Today, it is considered one of the most important renaissance buildings north of the Alps. And it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany with about 1.1 million visitors from all over the world every year - many of them from English speaking countries and Asia. Now, a researcher of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has reconstructed the castle as it looked before its destruction by means of a three-dimensional virtual model. Some people say that the enchanted building on a hill above the historic old town of Heidelberg is the best-known castle ruin in the world. Martin Luther, the reformer who came to Heidelberg to defend his theses, praised the beauty of the impressive fortress. Later, after its destruction by troops of French sun king Louis XIV, the ruin became the epitome of German romanticism. Today, empty windows look down on the picturesque Neckar valley and ivy-covered wall remains point into the sky like rugged rocks. In the simulation by Julian Hanschke of the KIT Institute of History of Art and Architecture, however, visitors can climb up the formerly massive, but now half-destroyed Bulky Tower, walk under the groined vaults of the Emperor Hall of the Ottheinrich Building, look at the figures decorating the Friedrich Building reminding us of a Venetian palazzo, or let their eyes wander through the courtyard of 1683. This reconstruction by the architectural historian reaches a wealth of details that by far exceeds that of reconstructions of the landmarks of Constantinople in the renaissance era, revolutionary Paris or Victorian London by the developers of the highly popular video-game series of Assassin's Creed. The expenditure associated with digital reconstruction is very high: Using historical plans, views, and drawings, every detail has to be remodeled on the computer. "We do not just scan a few photos, while the rest of the work is done by the computer," Hanschke says. The architectural historian points out that his approach in a certain way is similar to that of developers of imaginary video-game worlds. However, his reconstruction is no fantasy, but scientifically accurate. Every small detail is based on historical sources. Fortunately, Hanschke found a vast amount of picture sources for his research project that took five years, because first efforts to reconstruct Heidelberg Castle were made 100 years ago, "similar to what they did at the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg in Alsace, France," the scientist adds. For this purpose, all buildings were documented and surveyed. Hundreds of plans were drawn. "This probably is the most complete survey of a German palace," Hanschke says. Digital reconstruction now produced gigantic amounts of data. The complex of buildings measuring 270 to 280 m requires a storage capacity of around 3 gigabytes on the hard disk. Hanschke continues that he does not want to reconstruct the castle in reality. He only wishes the results of his research project to be experienced directly. Frank Thomas Lang of Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, the state heritage agency responsible for the palaces, castles, and gardens in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, is highly excited about Hanschke's project: "The reconstructions are highly impressive and even laymen will realize what Heidelberg Castle was in its prime." Hanschke points out that the historically and spatially correct reconstruction of walls, of the no longer existing theatre hall in the Bulky Tower, or of decorations on cornices, lintels, or column capitals requires in-depth understanding of the underlying constructions. Most of today's architects no longer have this knowledge. "With the emergence of the Bauhaus style ornaments went out of style," the architectural historian says. He cannot conceal his admiration of the ancient builders, who constructed their buildings for eternity. "Just have a look at this building in front of us," Hanschke says and points to a rather modern functional building that can be seen from his office. "In 30 years from now, the facade panels will drop off." And, no one will wish to visit that ruin. Apart from his computer simulations, Julian Hanschke wrote a publication of about 500 pages, which also represents his thesis for post-doctoral lecture qualification. In addition to suggestive views of the castle, this publication contains many photos and historical views as well as a comprehensive summary of the castle history based on sources exclusively. According to Hanschke, there has been no such project on Heidelberg Castle for a century. "It is the first representation of the history of Heidelberg Castle that is based on historical photos exclusively." At your request, we will be pleased to make available additional photos for e.g. online galleries. Click here for an interactive view of the courtyard: http://360. Other views of the reconstruction and further information are given in a film of the State Heritage Agency: https:/ For further information, please contact: Dr. Felix Mescoli, Press Officer, Phone: +49 721 608-48120, Fax: +49 721 608-43658, Email: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) pools its three core tasks of research, higher education, and innovation in a mission. With about 9,300 employees and 25,000 students, KIT is one of the big institutions of research and higher education in natural sciences and engineering in Europe. KIT - The Research University in the Helmholtz Association Since 2010, the KIT has been certified as a family-friendly university. This press release is available on the internet at http://www. .

PubMed | Institute of History, University of Lisbon and University of Oviedo
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2016

Mid-Late Holocene environmental changes in the Cantabrian Mountains are a consequence of both climate variability and human activity. A 182cm-long sedimentary sequence was collected from Belbn depression, Western Massif of Picos de Europa (Cantabrian Mountains, NW Spain), in order to reconstruct Holocene environmental dynamics and the factors triggering landscape changes in the area. Using multi-proxy analysis of the uppermost 60cm of the sediments (texture, organic matter content, quartz grains microstructures, charcoal deposition) together with three

Glais A.,University of Caen Lower Normandy | Lopez-Saez J.A.,Institute of History | Lespez L.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Davidson R.,University of Caen Lower Normandy
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Palynological and sedimentological investigations carried out around the tell of Dikili Tash (Eastern Macedonia, Greece), one of the oldest Neolithic sites in Europe, improve our understanding of the evolution of the paleoenvironment from the Late Pleistocene to the Neolithic period (6500-3200calBC in this region). While global climate reconstructions researches based on the study of the Tenaghi-Philippon pollen record, located 5-8km from the tell, have focused on forces that drive the environment at regional or global scales, we attempt to use the sediment archives on the edge of the marsh to describe the context of the Neolithization process and related environmental changes. Our aim is to provide new data on environmental change during the Early Holocene by combining pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs (NPPs) and sedimentological analyses to be compared with archaeological information. The data give an overview of the original environment prior to the Neolithic and thereafter a comprehensive view of the first human impacts on the vegetation cover in local lowland areas. Two new pollen records located respectively 1.75km (Dik4) and 150m (Dik12) from the archaeological site provide the first evidence of human agropastoral activities on the landscape associated with the Early Neolithic communitiessince at least 6400calBC, largely earlier than observed in the reference pollen diagram in the Tenaghi-Philippon marsh which shows a first human impact from the second millennium cal BC. Admittedly, such impact on the local area around the site cannot be extrapolated to a regional scale, raising question of the spatial representativeness of the previous records. It also shows the need to develop multi-scalar investigations to assess the impact of climatic change and human activities on the landscape during the earliest phase of the Neolithic settlement in southeastern Balkans. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Lillios K.T.,University of Iowa | Blanco-Gonzalez A.,University of Valladolid | Drake B.L.,University of New Mexico | Lopez-Saez J.A.,Institute of History
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2016

Despite increasing interest in the relationship between culture transformation and abrupt climate change, their complexities are poorly understood. The local impact of global environmental fluctuations depends on multiple factors, and their effects on societal collapse are often assumed rather than demonstrated. One of the major changes in west European later prehistory was the Copper to Bronze Age transition, contemporaneous with the 4.2 ky cal. BP event. This article offers a multi-dimensional insight into this historical process in the Iberian Peninsula from a multi-proxy and comparative perspective. Three study areas, representative of diverse ecological settings and historical trajectories, are compared. Using radiocarbon dates, 13C discrimination (δ13C) values on C3 plants, and high-resolution palynological records as palaeoclimatic and palaeodemographic proxies, this study tracks the uneven signals of Holocene climate. The wettest Northwest region features the most stable trend lines, whereas the Southwest exhibits an abrupt decrease in its demographic signals c. 4500 cal. BP, which is then followed by a subsequent rise in the neighbouring Southeast. These lines of evidence suggest the possibility, never previously noted, of demic migration from the Southwest to the Southeast in the Early Bronze Age as a contributing factor to the cultural dynamics of southern Iberia. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

This essay explores the participation of Latin America and the Caribbean in the construction and circulation of tropical agricultural science during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. It uses the term "islands of knowledge" to underscore the idea that each producing region across the global tropics, including Latin America and the Caribbean, was instrumental in the creation, adoption, and application of scientific procedures. At the same time, it emphasizes the value of interchange and interconnection between these regions, as well as the many and heterogeneous local areas, for analyzing what it calls "global archipelago agricultural scientific knowledge." This focus challenges the traditional center/periphery hierarchy and opens it to a wider vision of science and practice in agriculture. This essay shows how writing in related areas of research-specifically, commodity histories, biological exchange studies, and knowledge exchange studies-introduces approaches and case studies that are useful for the history of tropical agricultural science. In particular, this work provides analytical frameworks for developing studies of exchanges across the Global South. ©2013 by The History of Science Society. All rights reserved.

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