The Beginning of High Mountain Occupations in the Pyrenees. Human Settlements and Mobility from 18,000Â cal BC to 2000Â cal BC

Ermengol Gassiot Ballbè, Niccolò Mazzucco, Ignacio Clemente Conte, David Rodríguez Antón, Laura Obea Gómez, Manuel Quesada Carrasco, Sara Díaz Bonilla

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15 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017, The Author(s). During the last two decades, the archaeological research carried out in the Pyrenees challenged the traditional images of the past in this mountain area. The archaeological sequence of the range goes back and sites like Balma Margineda, treated until recently as an exception, now are seen as part of more global process. Actual data suggest that main valleys of the Pyrenean frequented by humans at the end of the last glacial period, with sites slightly over 1000 o.s.l. After the Younger Dryas, the human presence ascended to alpine and subalpine areas, in accordance with current archaeological data. The Neolisitation process was early in some hillsides, with intense remains of farming and pastoralism in many sites from dated in the second half of the 6th millennia cal BC. Human settlements like Coro Tracito, Els Trocs and El Sardo confirm the full introduction of agrarian activity in the central part of the Pyrenees between 5300 and 4600 cal BC. After 3500/3300 cal BC the indices oh sheepherding rises to alpine areas, with an abrupt increase of known archaeological sites in alpine areas, above the current timberline. This phenomena, as well as the signs of anthropic disturbance of the alpine environment in sedimentary sequences, suggests a more stable and ubiquitous human presence, probably largely associated with the development of mobile herding practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Global Change Research
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)2215-1621
ISBN (Print)1574-0919
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Global Change Research
ISSN (Print)1574-0919
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1621


  • Farming
  • High mountain human occupations
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic
  • Pastoralism
  • Pyrenees


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