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The Pleistocene to Holocene Transition and Human Economy in Southwest Asia: The Impact of the Younger Dryas

  • A. M. T. Moore (a1) and G. C. Hillman (a2)
Abstract

We present new evidence suggesting that the Late Glacial worldwide episode of cooling known as the Younger Dryas (ca. 11,000-10,000 B.P.) had a significant impact on climate, vegetation, and human economy in southwest Asia. In the Levant a new pollen core extracted from Lake Huleh and plant remains from the early village of Abu Hureyra 1 indicate that forest gave way to steppe in response to the onset of drier climatic conditions contemporary with the Younger Dryas. Similar effects may be seen in pollen cores from elsewhere in southwest Asia. This alteration in climate and vegetation obliged the inhabitants of Abu Hureyra to modify their plant gathering, and led to significant disruptions in culture and settlement over a wide area. We argue that the stresses induced by these events were a contributing factor in the subsequent development of agriculture in southwest Asia.

Resumen

Presentamos nuevas evidencias que indican que el episodio de enfriamiento global a fines del período glacial conocido como Younger Dryas (ca. 11,000-10,000 A.P.) tuvo un significativo impacto en el clima, la vegetación y la economía humana en el suroeste de Asia. En el Levante, una nueva columna de polen extraída del Lago Huleh y restos botánicos recuperados en la aldea temprana de Abu Hureyra 1 indican que los bosques fueron reemplazados por estepas en respuesta a condiciones climáticas más secas contemporáneas con el Younger Dryas. Consecuencias semejantes se observan en columnas de polen provenientes de otros lugares en el suroeste de Asia. Esta alteración en el clima y la práctica de recolección de plantas produjo significativos cambios en la cultura y el asentamiento en un área extensa. Sostenemos que las tensiones inducidas por estos hechos contribuyeron al subsiguiente desarrollo de la agricultura en el suroeste de Asia.

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American Antiquity
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