The First Paleoecological Analysis Derived from a Small Vertebrate Assemblage from the Byzantine Galilee and the Implications for Settlement Patterns
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
The flourishing of settlements in the Levant during the Roman-Byzantine period has been attributed to an increase in humid conditions between 300 –700 CE with a concomitant increase in tree cultivation. Small vertebrates which provide high-resolution paleoecological proxy are rare in the Byzantine period overall and totally absent from Galilean sites. This paper examines an assemblage of micro-vertebrates (<1 kg live weight) retrieved from a 5th c. CE cistern sediment found at the Galilean village of Horvat Kur (www.kinneret-excavations.org). It represents the first well-dated Byzantine Small vertebrate assemblage from the Galilee. The assemblage is heavily dominated by several species of shrew, non-commensal murids such as Apodemus, and a low proportion of grassland species (e.g., voles), all consistent with a closed wooded environment. Furthermore, the fauna does not appear to reflect an anthropogenic habitat e.g., agricultural fields. This reconstruction points to a Mediterranean woodland and scrubland surrounding the periphery of the site. This contrasts recent palynological research which may be explained by the different spatial and temporal resolution presented by the two proxies. The difference underlines the importance of multi-proxy approaches in resolving the local paleoecology in historical periods.
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The First Paleoecological Analysis Derived from a Small Vertebrate Assemblage from the Byzantine Galilee and the Implications for Settlement Patterns. Miriam Belmaker, Ron Hull. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450312)
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min long: 26.191; min lat: 12.211 ; max long: 73.477; max lat: 42.94 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23931