Scientist meeting. Global Challenges for our Common Future: a paleoscience perspective
Saragossa, del 9 al 13 de maig
Interambar and Teramar research projects (MINECO, 2011-2016) have the aim to trace the long-term history of human uses and landscape changes of upper mountain areas of Eastern Pyrenee-above 2000 m during the Holocene. The study of human-environment interactions at high altitudes have been done in Coma de Vaca and Ter valleys.
This region reports high rainfall due to the topographic barrier effect to eastern humid Mediterranean winds, resulting in high quality alpine grasslands and pastures. In this sense, written sources evidence the use of these valleys for grazing, mainly in relation with transhumance. Mining and forestry activities have been also reported.
With the aim to determine environmental changes as well as human uses and adaptation to high altitude environments, an integrative approach has adopted, combining fens records and archaeological diggings.. High resolution multiproxy analyses have been carried out in four fen records, including pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs (mainly coprophilous fungal spores), macrocharcoal particles, mineralogy and geochemistry. High-resolution time models have been obtained based on numerous radiocarbon dates with the aim to stablish reliable correlations with archaeological and historical data.
Four fens have been selected at different altitudes: Ull de Ter (2167 m), Coma de Vaca (2190 m), Pla de l’Aiguardant (2323 m) and Aigols Podrits (2437 m).
In these valleys, more than 400 archaeological structures have been described, and 37 of them have been object of excavation. 20 radiocarbon dates were obtained in archaeological structures from Coma de Vaca valley. Results suggest the presence of pastoral structures since Middle Neolithic in the valley.
The integration of these evidences indicate the existence of human impact since the Middle Neolithic, with large deforestations during Late Neolithic and Bronze Age. However, the definitive configuration of alpine grasslands mainly occurred during Late Antiquity and Early Medieval times.