Water Table Fluctuations and Degradation Risk Assessment at the Waterlogged Site of La Draga (Lake Banyoles, Spain)

Daniel Rábago, Vasiliki Andreaki, Xavier Terradas, Antoni Palomo, Raquel Piqué

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Pile dwelling sites in Mediterranean lakes face increasing threats to their conservation and safeguarding from climate change and its associated impacts. The primary objective of this study is to investigate the influence of climate change and water table fluctuations on the preservation of archaeological layers, with a particular focus on organic layers and wooden remains. Based on a combination of lake water level fluctuation analysis, water table measurements, and stratigraphic data, we managed to gauge the effects of recent water table fluctuations on the preservation of the occupation levels at the Neolithic site of La Draga (Lake Banyoles). By simulating and analysing the relationship between water table levels and their effects on the stratigraphic sequence, we were able to identify areas that are most susceptible to the impact of water table fluctuations and therefore potential post-depositional processes. Moreover, statistical analysis of recent hydrological data has shown that there is a direct relationship between lake level and water table at the settlement. This would have been a factor affecting the preservation of both artefacts and deposits since the occupation of La Draga. Thus, the importance of considering hydrological factors when analysing and interpreting lakeside archaeological sites is highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Archaeology
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • 3D modelling
  • Climate change
  • Environmental modelling
  • Water level changes
  • Wetlands
  • Wood degradation

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