Maharski prekop, Stare gmajne and Blatna Brezovica settlements and the vegetation of Ljubljansko barje (Slovenia) in the 4th millennium cal BC
Keywords:Ljubljansko barje, Stare gmajne, palynology, vegetation history, Eneolithic pile-dwelling sites
In the 4th millennium cal BC the hinterlands of Ljubljansko barje basin were covered by beech-fir (Abies-Fagus) and mixed oak (Quercus) forests. People of several Eneolithic cultural groups were cutting/burning forests to open the landscape for fields and pastures. This paper focuses on high-resolution palynological analyses of pile-dwelling settlements Maharski prekop, Stare gmajne and Blatna Brezovica to investigate human impact on the vegetation, and to compare past economy and vegetation history in various parts of Ljubljansko barje. The results revealed that there were no major changes of vegetation throughout the 4th millennium cal. BC, neither were there any major differences between vegetation of the selected study sites. Cultural layers from archaeological sites (in larger quantities than off-site cores) contain pollen of plants that were brought to the settlement by people: cereals and other cultivars (Cereal t., Linum), weeds (Centaurea), grazing indicators (Plantago lanceolata, Campanula, Ranunculaceae), ruderal taxa (Chenopodiaceae, Artemisia), (gathered) shrubs (Corylus) and herbs. Traces of anthropogenic impacts from older settlements were detected in sediments below archaeological cultural layers at all study sites.
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