Contemporaneousness of Trackway Construction and Environmental Change: a Dendrochronological Study in Northwest-German Mires
Zitierfähiger Link (URL): http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14522
Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 2015; 6(1) p.19-29
Tree rings provide not only a precise dating tool, but also contain information on environmental change. The well replicated tree ring record of northwest Germany therefore provides environmental implications with immanent, absolute and precise dating from 6703 BC to 931 AD. This offers the opportunity to investigate the environmental context of archaeological finds, if they, too, are dated by dendrochronology. We investigated 13 peat-preserved trackways from the Northwest-German lowland between 4629 BC (Neolithic) and 502 AD (Migration Period) for contemporaneousness with water table rise in the landscape. Such environmental change is well reflected in the clearly notable die-off phases of trees preserved in the mires. As an environmental proxy, the parameter “tree die-off rate a-30” is introduced: The annual number of tree die-off events is divided by the number of live trees 30 years previously. Overall, the majority of trackway constructions were found to be contemporaneous to mire water table rise and mire expansion. Possibly, a period of water table rise was a motivation for trackway construction.
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