Changes in the vegetation and human management of forest resources in mountain ecosystems at the beginning of MIS 1 (14.7–8 ka cal BP) in Balma Guilanyà (Southeastern Pre-Pyrenees, Spain)


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 11 (7) - Pages 507-518

Published on 31 October 2012

The site of Balma Guilanyà (southeastern Spain) records an extensive human occupation during the beginning of MIS 1, based on a variety of archaeobotanical indicators, although its sequence contains gaps in the record of human occupation. The study of different archaeological proxies recovered from its sequence, especially charcoal, seeds and fruits, allows analysis of the ecological changes that occurred at the southern flanks of the Pyrenees from the Bølling/Allerød amelioration to the Boreal. The analyses also illuminate the strategies developed by hunter-gatherers of the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, and especially of the changes in firewood used at this site over a long time (over 5000 years), which indirectly provide information about the transformation of the plant communities of mountain ecosystems. In parallel, a growing interest in re-collecting wild fruits can be perceived. The results suggest that this activity was widely in use during the early Holocene, although it may go back to the Allerød. These results suggest that despite the limitations of the archaeobotanical record of Balma Guilanyà, we can recognize different patterns in the management of plant resources by the hunter-gatherers that intermittently visited this site.


Southeastern Pre-Pyrenees, Bølling/Allerød, Early Holocene, Environmental changes, Fuel management, Gathering

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