Reconstruction of the fire history in the Siedlungskammer Burgweinting (Bavaria, Germany) in relation to settlement and environmental history
A. Raab, W. Brützke, D. Christophel, J. Völkel, T. Raab, 2011. "Reconstruction of the fire history in the Siedlungskammer Burgweinting (Bavaria, Germany) in relation to settlement and environmental history", Human Interactions with the Geosphere: The Geoarchaeological Perspective, L. Wilson
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Palaeoenvironmental investigations were carried out in the Siedlungskammer (prehistoric settlement area) Burgweinting (Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany) to reveal past settlement conditions and human impact on the environment. Two sequences were obtained from the Islinger Mühlbach Fen, in close proximity to the archaeological excavation site in Burgweinting, which documents an almost continuous settlement history since the Neolithic Period. The analyses of the sequences comprise stratigraphic, geochemical and microscopic charcoal analyses. For chronological information, radiocarbon dating was conducted on a total of 10 samples. Thus, the first long-term fire record was reconstructed for the investigation area, and the results were correlated, based on radiocarbon dating, with the available environmental information and settlement history in the Siedlungskammer Burgweinting. The fire record reveals an almost continuous, but alternating fire history. Furthermore, it shows that fire played an important role in the Siedlungskammer Burgweinting and that most probably as early as the Mesolithic hunterer–gatherers deliberately used fire.
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Human impact on our environment is not a new phenomenon. For millennia, humans have been coping with – or provoking – environmental change. We have exploited, extracted, over-used, but also in many cases nurtured, the resources that the geosphere offers. Geoarchaeology studies the traces of human interactions with the geosphere and provides the key to recognizing landscape and environmental change, human impacts and the effects of environmental change on human societies. This collection of papers from around the world includes case studies and broader reviews covering the time period since before modern human beings came into existence up until the present day. To understand ourselves, we need to understand that our world is constantly changing, and that change is dynamic and complex. Geoarchaeology provides an inclusive and long-term view of human–geosphere interactions and serves as a valuable aid to those who try to determine sustainable policies for the future.