Holocene Vegetation Cycles, Land-use and Human Adaptations to Desertification in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia
Since the retreat of the Pleistocene some 11,700 years ago, the landscape and vegetation of the Mongolian Gobi Desert has been profoundly changing, punctuated by the appearance of lakes, wetlands, and finally aridification. Vegetation communities have responded to these changes according to temperature shifts and northward to southward movements of the edges of East Asian monsoonal systems. Human groups have lived, foraged, and traveled through the landscape of the Gobi for millennia, adapting their technologies and systems of plant and animal use with the dramatic changes of flora and fauna, and likely contributed to the character of the vegetation communities in the region today. Yet little is known about the availability of plants and plant use from the early Holocene through to the end of the Middle Holocene, and the impact of human populations on these fragile natural environments. Research at the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Dornogobi Province, Mongolia has yielded geoarchaeological and archaeological phytolith data which shows changing landscape and vegetation patterns associated with extensive use of small spring-fed drainages. Human land-use shifted from foragers who exploited wetland plants to hunter-pastoral communities, whose use of wild plant resources changed with increasing desertification.
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Holocene Vegetation Cycles, Land-use and Human Adaptations to Desertification in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Arlene Rosen, Jennifer Farquhar, Joan Schneider, Tserendagva Yadmaa. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430581)
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min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16038