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Settlement History As Reflection Of Climate Change: The Case Study Of Lake Jues (Harz Mountains, Germany)

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Postglacial sediments from Lake Jues, located at the SW margin of the Harz Mountains, were investigated for pollen, diatoms and sediment characteristics. The paper focuses on the time period between 7600 and 1200 y cal. BP (calibrated years before present), during which human impact began to influence the environnment of the lake. Climate variability was mainly inferred from sediment characteristics and changes in algal assemblages. The observed climatic changes coincide well with those recorded from other sites. Neolithic settlement started during the warm and dry Atlantic period. Intensive land use occurred under favourable climatic conditions during the Bronze and the Iron Ages, while human activities declined during cool and wet periods around 4000 and 2700 y cal. BP and after 2300 y cal. BP. The study shows that climate strongly influenced human settlement at remote locations like Lake Jues.

Keywords: Harz Mountains; climate; diatoms; settlement

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Albrecht-von-Haller-Institut of plant Sciences, Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics, University Göttingen, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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