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Holocene demographic fluctuations, climate and erosion in the Mediterranean: A meta data-analysis

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  • Kevin James Walsh
  • Jean-Francois Berger
  • Neil Roberts
  • Boris Vanniere
  • A.G. Brown
  • Jessie Woodbridge
  • Laurent Lespez
  • Arthur Glais
  • Alessio Palmisano
  • Martin Finné
  • Gert Verstraeten


Publication details

JournalThe Holocene
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Oct 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2019
Issue number5
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)864-885
Early online date14/02/19
Original languageEnglish


As part of the Changing the Face of the Mediterranean Project, we consider how human pressure and concomitant erosion has affected a range of Mediterranean landscapes between the Neolithic and, in some cases, the post-medieval period. Part of this assessment comprises an investigation of relationships among palaeodemographic data, evidence for vegetation change and some consideration of rapid climate change events. The erosion data include recent or hitherto unpublished work from the authors. Where possible, we consider summed probabilities of 14C dates as well as the first published synthesis of all known optically stimulated luminescence dated sequences. The results suggest that while there were some periods when erosion took place contemporaneously across a number of regions, possibly induced by climate changes, more often than not, we see a complex and heterogeneous interplay of demographic and environmental changes that result in a mixed pattern of erosional activity across the Mediterranean.

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© The Author(s) 2019. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Mediterranean, Holocene, Erosion, Geoarchaeology, Demography, human impact, Archaeology

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