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Late Glacial and Holocene aeolian deposition and soil formation in relation to the Late Palaeolithic Ahrensburg occupation, site Geldrop-A2, the Netherlands

  • C. Kasse (a1), L.A. Tebbens (a2), M. Tump (a2), J. Deeben (a3), C. Derese (a4), J. De Grave (a4) and D. Vandenberghe (a4)...
Abstract

The lithostratigraphy, age and human occupation of the Late Glacial and Holocene aeolian succession of a Late Palaeolithic Ahrensburg site in the excavation Geldrop-A2 (municipality of Heeze-Leende) have been investigated. The exposure revealed a stacked sequence of aeolian sand units and intercalated soils (Older Coversand II, Younger Coversand I (YCI), Usselo Soil, Younger Coversand II (YCII), Holocene podzol, drift sand). Fourteen optically stimulated luminescence dates on quartz and three radiocarbon dates provide the age control of the aeolian deposition (coversands, drift sand), landscape stability (soils) and human occupation. The upper part of the YCI unit was dated to the early Late Glacial. The well-developed Usselo Soil was formed during a phase of landscape stability during the late Allerød interstadial and onset of the Younger Dryas stadial. During the Younger Dryas, low aeolian dunes were formed locally (YCII), as a response to landscape instability due to cooling and vegetation decline. In the fine-grained lower part of the YCII unit an initial soil testifies to a decadal to centennial period of landscape stability. An Ahrensburg site in the upper part of this initial soil was dated at 10,915±35 BP (c. 12,854–12,789 cal BP). The lithostratigraphic position, radiocarbon dates of the underlying Usselo Soil and a possibly old-wood effect of up to 200 years suggest that Ahrensburg occupation of the dune environment occurred during the early Younger Dryas, shortly after c. 10,750 BP (12,750 cal BP). Landscape stability and podzol soil formation dominated the early and middle Holocene periods. Drift-sand deposition, probably related to human land use and vegetation decline, occurred in a 200-year period from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

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*Corresponding author. Email: c.kasse@vu.nl
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Netherlands Journal of Geosciences
  • ISSN: 0016-7746
  • EISSN: 1573-9708
  • URL: /core/journals/netherlands-journal-of-geosciences
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