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Diversification, Intensification and Specialization: Changing Land Use in Western Africa from 1800 BC to AD 1500

Many societal and environmental changes occurred between the 2nd millennium BC and the middle of the 2nd millennium AD in western Africa. Key amongst these were changes in land use due to the spread and development of agricultural strategies, which may have had widespread consequences for the climate, hydrology, biodiversity, and ecosystem services of the region. Quantification...

Potentials and limitations for the identification of outdoor dung plasters in humid tropical environment: a geo-ethnoarchaeological case study from South India

Dung has been an important material used by humans since at least the early Neolithic Period. It accumulated within domesticated animal enclosures and it was used as fuel and fertiliser as well as construction material. While the formers were studied in details, to date, the use of dung as a construction material received less attention. Here, we present a geo-ethnoarchaeological...

Site Formation Processes and Hunter-Gatherers Use of Space in a Tropical Environment: A Geo-Ethnoarchaeological Approach from South India

Hunter-gatherer societies have distinct social perceptions and practices which are expressed in unique use of space and material deposition patterns. However, the identification of archaeological evidence associated with hunter-gatherer activity is often challenging, especially in tropical environments such as rainforests. We present an integrated study combining ethnoarchaeology...

Summed Probability Distribution of 14C Dates Suggests Regional Divergences in the Population Dynamics of the Jomon Period in Eastern Japan

Recent advances in the use of summed probability distribution (SPD) of calibrated 14C dates have opened new possibilities for studying prehistoric demography. The degree of correlation between climate change and population dynamics can now be accurately quantified, and divergences in the demographic history of distinct geographic areas can be statistically assessed. Here we...

Microbotanical Evidence of Domestic Cereals in Africa 7000 Years Ago

The study of plant exploitation and early use of cereals in Africa has seen over the years a great input from charred and desiccated macrobotanical remains. This paper presents the results of one of the few examples in Africa of microbotanical analyses. Three grave contexts of phytolith-rich deposits and the dental calculus of 20 individuals were analysed from two Neolithic...

Phytoliths in Pottery Reveal the Use of Spice in European Prehistoric Cuisine

Here we present evidence of phytoliths preserved in carbonised food deposits on prehistoric pottery from the western Baltic dating from 6,100 cal BP to 5750 cal BP. Based on comparisons to over 120 European and Asian species, our observations are consistent with phytolith morphologies observed in modern garlic mustard seed (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb) Cavara & Grande). As this...

Squaring the Circle. Social and Environmental Implications of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Building Technology at Tell Qarassa (South Syria)

We present the results of the microstratigraphic, phytolith and wood charcoal study of the remains of a 10.5 ka roof. The roof is part of a building excavated at Tell Qarassa (South Syria), assigned to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period (PPNB). The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) period in the Levant coincides with the emergence of farming. This fundamental change in subsistence...