Humans, Fire, and Food Production: Examining the spatial and temporal patterns of changing burning practices during the transition to agriculture in the Western Mediterranean
Author(s): Grant Snitker
One of the principle objectives of current archaeological research is to improve our understanding of the recursive relationship between humans and their environments through time. Following this objective, archaeological and paleoecological analyses have demonstrated that fire and humans have a coupled relationship in almost every biome on earth. The processes through which humans modify landscapes with fire reflect the complexities of human-environmental relationships, especially in the context of early food production. This poster focuses on the transition to agriculture in the Western Mediterranean (5,600-5,400 cal. BC). Paleoecological studies characterize this period by a substantial increase, or "spike", in fire frequency, which has been interpreted as a change in human burning practices (i.e. Bal et al. 2011; Gil-Romera et al. 2009). In an effort to expand these interpretations, this project utilizes geospatial (GIS) and temporal comparisons between radiocarbon dates for early agricultural sites and "spikes" in charcoal frequency from regional pollen cores to examine the relationship between food production and burning in the Western Mediterranean. This work seeks to enrich our understanding of the timing and geographic extent of early agricultural burning practices, while also contributing to the overall efforts to characterize the dynamics of food production in social-ecological systems.
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Humans, Fire, and Food Production: Examining the spatial and temporal patterns of changing burning practices during the transition to agriculture in the Western Mediterranean. Grant Snitker. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396683)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;