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The palaeoenvironmental impact of prehistoric settlement and proto-historic urbanism: tracing the emergence of the Oppidum of Corent, Auvergne, France.

Ledger PM, Miras Y, Poux M, Milcent PY - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Although these features are clearly key indicators of human settlement, and characterise Neolithic and early to Middle Bronze Age impacts at Corent, they do not appear to represent defining features of a protohistoric urban environment.The Late Iron Age Gallic Oppidum of Corent is remarkable for the paucity of evidence for agriculture and strong representation of apophytes associated with disturbance.These results clearly indicate the value of local-scale palaeoecological studies and their potential for tracing the phases in the emergence of a proto-historic urban environment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, BP 10448, Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, USR 3550, MSH, Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, UMR 6042, GEOLAB, Clermont-Ferrand, France; Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Early human societies and their interactions with the natural world have been extensively explored in palaeoenvironmental studies across Central and Western Europe. Yet, despite an extensive body of scholarship, there is little consideration of the environmental impacts of proto-historic urbanisation. Typically palaeoenvironmental studies of Bronze and Iron Age societies discuss human impact in terms of woodland clearance, landscape openness and evidence for agriculture. Although these features are clearly key indicators of human settlement, and characterise Neolithic and early to Middle Bronze Age impacts at Corent, they do not appear to represent defining features of a protohistoric urban environment. The Late Iron Age Gallic Oppidum of Corent is remarkable for the paucity of evidence for agriculture and strong representation of apophytes associated with disturbance. Increased floristic diversity - a phenomenon also observed in more recent urban environments - was also noted. The same, although somewhat more pronounced, patterns are noted for the Late Bronze Age and hint at the possibility of a nascent urban area. High percentages of pollen from non-native trees such as Platanus, Castanea and Juglans in the late Bronze Age and Gallic period also suggest trade and cultural exchange, notably with the Mediterranean world. Indeed, these findings question the validity of applying Castanea and Juglans as absolute chronological markers of Romanisation. These results clearly indicate the value of local-scale palaeoecological studies and their potential for tracing the phases in the emergence of a proto-historic urban environment.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Age-depth model for the sequence generated using Clam (Blaauw, 2010).Two possible models, generated using a smoothed spline and linear regression, are presented. The grey envelope indicates the 95% confidence limits of the smoothed spline model which encompasses the narrower 95% confidence limits of the linear regression model. The solid black line and dashed line respectively represent the ‘best estimates’ of the smoothed spline and linear regression models.
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pone.0121517.g004: Age-depth model for the sequence generated using Clam (Blaauw, 2010).Two possible models, generated using a smoothed spline and linear regression, are presented. The grey envelope indicates the 95% confidence limits of the smoothed spline model which encompasses the narrower 95% confidence limits of the linear regression model. The solid black line and dashed line respectively represent the ‘best estimates’ of the smoothed spline and linear regression models.

Mentions: The results of radiocarbon dating are presented in Table 2. The clearest observation from the data is that measurements undertaken on paired charcoal/microfossil-BOF samples presented no evidence for a reservoir effect in the BOF dates. Microscopic charcoal from 57–54 cm (Beta-379416) returned a date of 2240±30 which was 250 radiocarbon years older than the date on the BOF at the same level (Beta-379417; 1990±30) suggesting a c. 200 cal. yr difference in the age of this level (Table 4). A similar, although less pronounced, discrepancy was observed in the paired dating from 73–71 cm. Pollen from this depth (Beta-379418) dated to 2750±30 whereas the BOF (Beta-377232) indicated an age of 2590±30. These results perhaps indicate the erosion and reworking of previously deposited material from the surrounding basin, suggesting that contrary to expectations, BOF dates may be preferable to highly mobile microfossils in this depositional environment. Nevertheless, this is far from certain as the final two dates on BOF at 88–87 cm (Beta-375785; 3510±30) and 103–102 (Beta-379419; 3330±30) present a minor age-depth reversal hinting at the possibility of a reservoir effect.


The palaeoenvironmental impact of prehistoric settlement and proto-historic urbanism: tracing the emergence of the Oppidum of Corent, Auvergne, France.

Ledger PM, Miras Y, Poux M, Milcent PY - PLoS ONE (2015)

Age-depth model for the sequence generated using Clam (Blaauw, 2010).Two possible models, generated using a smoothed spline and linear regression, are presented. The grey envelope indicates the 95% confidence limits of the smoothed spline model which encompasses the narrower 95% confidence limits of the linear regression model. The solid black line and dashed line respectively represent the ‘best estimates’ of the smoothed spline and linear regression models.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4390215&req=5

pone.0121517.g004: Age-depth model for the sequence generated using Clam (Blaauw, 2010).Two possible models, generated using a smoothed spline and linear regression, are presented. The grey envelope indicates the 95% confidence limits of the smoothed spline model which encompasses the narrower 95% confidence limits of the linear regression model. The solid black line and dashed line respectively represent the ‘best estimates’ of the smoothed spline and linear regression models.
Mentions: The results of radiocarbon dating are presented in Table 2. The clearest observation from the data is that measurements undertaken on paired charcoal/microfossil-BOF samples presented no evidence for a reservoir effect in the BOF dates. Microscopic charcoal from 57–54 cm (Beta-379416) returned a date of 2240±30 which was 250 radiocarbon years older than the date on the BOF at the same level (Beta-379417; 1990±30) suggesting a c. 200 cal. yr difference in the age of this level (Table 4). A similar, although less pronounced, discrepancy was observed in the paired dating from 73–71 cm. Pollen from this depth (Beta-379418) dated to 2750±30 whereas the BOF (Beta-377232) indicated an age of 2590±30. These results perhaps indicate the erosion and reworking of previously deposited material from the surrounding basin, suggesting that contrary to expectations, BOF dates may be preferable to highly mobile microfossils in this depositional environment. Nevertheless, this is far from certain as the final two dates on BOF at 88–87 cm (Beta-375785; 3510±30) and 103–102 (Beta-379419; 3330±30) present a minor age-depth reversal hinting at the possibility of a reservoir effect.

Bottom Line: Although these features are clearly key indicators of human settlement, and characterise Neolithic and early to Middle Bronze Age impacts at Corent, they do not appear to represent defining features of a protohistoric urban environment.The Late Iron Age Gallic Oppidum of Corent is remarkable for the paucity of evidence for agriculture and strong representation of apophytes associated with disturbance.These results clearly indicate the value of local-scale palaeoecological studies and their potential for tracing the phases in the emergence of a proto-historic urban environment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, BP 10448, Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, USR 3550, MSH, Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, UMR 6042, GEOLAB, Clermont-Ferrand, France; Department of Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT
Early human societies and their interactions with the natural world have been extensively explored in palaeoenvironmental studies across Central and Western Europe. Yet, despite an extensive body of scholarship, there is little consideration of the environmental impacts of proto-historic urbanisation. Typically palaeoenvironmental studies of Bronze and Iron Age societies discuss human impact in terms of woodland clearance, landscape openness and evidence for agriculture. Although these features are clearly key indicators of human settlement, and characterise Neolithic and early to Middle Bronze Age impacts at Corent, they do not appear to represent defining features of a protohistoric urban environment. The Late Iron Age Gallic Oppidum of Corent is remarkable for the paucity of evidence for agriculture and strong representation of apophytes associated with disturbance. Increased floristic diversity - a phenomenon also observed in more recent urban environments - was also noted. The same, although somewhat more pronounced, patterns are noted for the Late Bronze Age and hint at the possibility of a nascent urban area. High percentages of pollen from non-native trees such as Platanus, Castanea and Juglans in the late Bronze Age and Gallic period also suggest trade and cultural exchange, notably with the Mediterranean world. Indeed, these findings question the validity of applying Castanea and Juglans as absolute chronological markers of Romanisation. These results clearly indicate the value of local-scale palaeoecological studies and their potential for tracing the phases in the emergence of a proto-historic urban environment.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus