By the same authors

Les dynamiques de la végétation et des anthroposystèmes d’altitude cernées par l’anthracologie pastorale et minière à l’échelle d’un haut vallon alpestre (Freissinières, France)

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Publication details

JournalArcheoSciences, revue d’archéométrie
DatePublished - 2015
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)69 - 92
Original languageFrench


This review paper outlines the reconstruction of vegetation and altitude anthroposystem dynamics, at the scale of the Freissinières high valley, based on the anthracological analysis of mining and (agro-) pastoral carbonised deposits, dating from the Bronze Age to the Renaissance. Archaeological and chronological features of the various deposit contexts, sampling protocol and laboratory methods used, have been outlined. All the obtained data has been summarized in diagrams, and attempts have been made to model vegetation dynamics and areas of firewood supply for mining and pastoral activities. Thus, this study identifies the major subalpine floristic changes that have occurred since the Bronze Age, the development of wood pasture and the lowering of the upper limit of dense forest associated with heathlands and thicket expansion. In addition, this study characterises the evolution of supply practices of fuel wood and the management of uncultivated area -particularly during the Middle Ages- and grasps the leaf-fodder cycle, documented by charcoals at the turn of the Modern era.

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    Research areas

  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Alps, mining, anthracology, FOREST DYNAMICS

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