Human adaptations to environmental change during the Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene - Part 2

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Climate change at the end of the Pleistocene was both rapid and global in extent, with important consequences for the human environment. This symposium will draw together regional perspectives on the patterns of environmental change and human adaptation that marked the last glacial-interglacial transition, against a background of continuing improvements in the quality and temporal resolution of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental records. Participating scholars will explore whether, and to what extent, a causal relationship can be documented between environmental instability and changes in demographic patterns, subsistence strategies and social organization at different temporal and geographical scales during the Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Breckenridge Shelter, Arkansas and the Younger Dryas (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Marvin Kay.

    Excavations by W. Raymond Wood and then by Ronald A. Thomas first exposed late glacial/early post-glacial archaeology in 1961 and 1962. In 2012 renewed excavations by Arkansas Archeological Survey personnel re-exposed 1960s test units of up to 3m thickness to further evaluate the unusually deep deposit and its stratigraphy; and to collect sediment, associated artifacts, and radiocarbon samples. Compared to Rodgers Shelter and Big Eddy, two well-dated alluvial archaeological sites in the western...

  • By the seaside: The role of marine resources in northern Spain from the late Palaeolithic to the Neolithic (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Pablo Arias. Esteban Álvarez-Fernández.

    Cantabrian Spain is a privileged area for a diachronic study of the relationship between human societies and the marine resources. The region can boast one of the highest densities of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites in Europe, and a long and dense tradition of archaeological research, especially in the coastal areas. Moreover, its continental shelf is very narrow, so the preserved sites are closer to the late Pleistocene shoreline than in other parts of the Continent. This paper...

  • Causalities, time-scales and processes of environmental and cultural change in Italy between the Final Upper Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Robin Skeates.

    This paper reconsiders the significance of a generally warmer and wetter climate, expanded plant ranges and sea level rise to human groups in mainland and island Italy between the Final Upper Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic. Fundamental cultural changes in demography, subsistence strategies and social organization certainly coincided broadly with these environmental changes, and do suggest a degree of human adaptation, although the cultural resilience of hunter-gatherer lifestyles should not be...

  • Correlating climate change and archaeological record in the Iron Gates Mesolithic (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ivana Radovanovic.

    Material culture record from the Danube Iron Gates Mesolithic reflects a variety of hunter-gatherer adaptive strategies, including shifts in the foraging methods, changes in preferential choices for the raw material extraction, and a variable use of the same locations for residential and/or aggregation camps covering over five millennia. Archaeological debates however remained focused mainly on a few hundred years of the local hunter-gatherers’ interaction with the incoming food producers during...

  • Environmental Change and the Neolithization of Southeast Europe: a Bulgarian perspective (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maria Gurova. Clive Bonsall.

    Any discussion of Neolithization of the part of the Balkan Peninsula that lies within the territory of Bulgaria has to confront two seemingly long-established and incontrovertible ‘facts’ – the abrupt appearance of a fully developed Neolithic ‘package’ c. 6100/6000 cal BC, and the virtual archaeological ‘absence’ of a pre-Neolithic (Mesolithic) substratum. This paper focuses on two inadequately discussed aspects of the ongoing debate surrounding the spread of farming across SE Europe: 1) the...

  • Expansion and extinction: the Collapse of the Mammoth Steppe fauna (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thijs Van Kolfschoten. Anastasia K. Markova. Andrey Y. Puzachenko. Alexei N. Tikhonov. Pavel A. Kosintsev.

    More and more we become aware of the impact of climate change on our natural environment. The fossil record shows how extensive that impact can be. The woolly mammoth, the emperor of the animal kingdom during the Late Pleistocene, dominated the fauna of Eurasia for thousands of years, but the territory of the species shrunk dramatically; rather recently the woolly mammoth, together with for example the woolly rhinoceros and the giant deer, became extinct. Other species flourished due to the...

  • Human response to sea-level change in the Early Holocene: examples from the continental shelf (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jonathan Benjamin.

    Human response to sea-level rise is an important aspect within the broader topic of coastal prehistory. Sites found on today's continental shelf directly contribute to the archaeological record and are, in some cases well preserved under water. Recent emphasis on continental shelf archaeology, or submerged prehistory, has encouraged prehistorians to embrace underwater archaeology in order to fully appreciate past lifeways and adaptation to sea-level change in the final Pleistocene and early...

  • The impact of the 8.2 kyr cal BP event on Late Mesolithic demography in the central Mediterranean region of Spain (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Javier Fernandez-Lopez De Pablo. Samantha Jones. Magdalena Gómez Puche. Francesc Burjachs.

    The central Mediterranean region of the Iberian Peninsula witnessed two major environmental processes affecting early and middle Holocene hunter-gatherers: rapid sea-level rise, with the consequent flooding of coastal plains; and the replacement of open-landscape by forest- taxa. In this context, much less is known regarding how the 8.2 kyr cal BP climatic event impacted Late Mesolithic human populations. Using multiple lines of archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidence, in this paper we...

  • The Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in the Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys of the Mid-South United States (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only D. Shane Miller. David Anderson. Kelsey Meer.

    The Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys have a rich history of archaeological research and provide a valuable dataset for exploring the relationship between climate and culture during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. In this paper, we provide an overview of available archaeological and environmental data in this area, and argue that there were significant changes in diet, technological organization, and landscape use that are most likely related to environmental change. Home to some of...

  • The Terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition and settlement discontinuities in the arid Central Andes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kurt Rademaker. Gordon Bromley.

    The Central Andean region poses numerous environmental challenges, including hyper-aridity, rugged topography, strong seasonality, uneven spatial distribution of biotic resources, and high altitude, yet this area was colonized successfully in the Terminal Pleistocene. However, the archaeological record shows considerable discontinuity through the Terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition, with site occupation hiatuses or abandonments often interpreted as having stemmed from unfavorable...