The investigation of human activities in the mountains is quite a phenomenon in current archaeology. This interest is caused by the fact that every new discovery indicates some human activity in higher elevations and in earlier prehistoric periods. It expresses high adaptive abilities of prehistoric farmers towards harsh mountain conditions since the Neolithic. Most of the evidence comes from high mountain areas above the tree line. Conversely, archaeological prospection in forested mountain areas such as Šumava Mts. is very limited, and therefore human activities are poorly understood. Tracks of activities are however present in mountain pollen profiles in the form of anthropogenic indicators. Their interpretation still yield some uncertainties.The aim of the project is to clarify the nature of human activities in the mountains and estimate the impact of this activity on Holocene vegetation in the Šumava Mts. and its foothills. The recent discovery of the unique high altitude La Tène archaeological site and nearby pollen profile in the Sklářské valley plays a key role in large multidisciplinary research. Better understanding of the origin of pollen anthropogenic indicators in pollen records will be solved by pollen modelling, using a combination of regional (REVEALS) and local (LOVE) pollen-vegetation models. The results may finally enlighten us regarding past human mountain activities and the role of man in vegetation development.
Hidden human prehistoric activities in the mountains. Archaeological and pollen evidence from the Šumava Mountains
• (Principal) Investigator:
PhDr. Dagmar Dreslerová Ph.D.
• identification number:
prehistory; lower mountains; human activities; palynology; vegetation; mountain farming