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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2019 / Long-term trends of land use and demography in Greece: a comparative study

Erika Weiberg, Andrew Bevan, Katerina Kouli, Markos Katsianis, Jessie Woodbridge, Anton Bonnier, Max Engel, Martin Finné, Ralph Fyfe, Yannis Maniatis, Alessio Palmisano, Sampson Panajiotidis, Neil Roberts and Stephen Shennan (2019)

Long-term trends of land use and demography in Greece: a comparative study

The Holocene.

This paper offers a comparative study of land use and demographic development in northern and southern Greece from the Neolithic to the Byzantine period. Results from summed probability densities (SPD) of archaeological radiocarbon dates and settlement numbers derived from archaeological site surveys are combined with results from cluster-based analysis of published pollen core assemblages to offer an integrated view of human pressure on the Greek landscape through time. We demonstrate that SPD can be a useful approach to outline differences between regions and a useful complement to archaeological site records, evaluated here especially for the onset of the Neolithic and the Final Neolithic/Early Bronze Age transition. Pollen analysis highlight differences in vegetation between the two subregions but also several parallel changes. The comparison of land cover changes between two sub-regions of Greece further demonstrate the significance of the bioclimatic conditions of core locations and that apparent oppositions between regions may in fact be two sides of the same coin in terms of socio-ecological trajectories. We also assess the balance between anthropogenic and climate related impacts on vegetation and suggest that climatic variability was as an important factor for vegetation regrowth. Finally, our evidence suggest that the impact of humans on land cover is amplified from the Late Bronze Age onwards as more extensive herding and agricultural practices are introduced.
Peer Review, Impact Factor
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