The role of the adoption of farming economies in the transformation of mid-Holocene landscapes in Northeast Iberia is under discussion given that the Neolithization coincides with the cold climatic phase dated ca. 7500–7000 cal BP. The main aim of this paper is to assess whether human activities or climate were the main driver of vegetation changes during the Middle Holocene through the study of the archaeobotanical data from three case studies: Cova del Sardo, La Draga, and Coves del Fem. The application of diverse archaeobotanical techniques to the different plant remains provides a complete picture of the vegetation composition and plant uses. During the early Neolithic, settlement surroundings were intensively exploited for firewood, wood raw material, timber, and plant fibers. The resources were obtained mainly from deciduous and pine forests, de-pending on the site localization, but also from riparian zones. The diversity of plants exploited was high, not only trees but shrubs and herbs. Evidence of deforestation has been identified in the settlement surroundings in La Draga and Cova del Sardo. The combination of plant exploitation with other agropastoral activities favored the expansion of colonizing species and enhanced biodiversity at a local scale.
|Journal||Applied Sciences (Switzerland)|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2021|
- Plant resources