Behre, Karl-Ernst; Kucan, Dusanka (2011): Pollen records from Elbe-Weser Dreieck. PANGAEA, https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.758757, Supplement to: Behre, K-E; Kucan, D (1986): Die Reflektion archäologisch bekannter Siedlungen in Pollendiagrammen verschiedener Entfernung - Beispiele aus der Siedlungskammer Flögeln, Nordwestdeutschland (The reflection of archaeologically known settlements in pollen diagrams of varying distances - Examples from the Siedlungskammer Flögeln, NW Germany). in: Behre, K-E (ed) Anthropogenic indicators in pollen diagrams. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Boston, 95-114, hdl:10013/epic.37159.d001
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A long-running interdisciplinary research project on the development of landscape, prehistoric habitation and the history of vegetation within a "siedlungskammer" (limited habitation areal from neolithic to modern times has been carried out in the NW German lowlands, The siedlungskammer Flögeln is situated between the rivers Weser and EIbe and comprises about 23.5 km^2. It is an isolated pleistocene area surrounded by bogs, the soils consisting mainly of poor sands. In this siedlungskammer large-seale archaeological excavations and mappings have been performed, parallel to pedological, historical and above all pollen analytical investigations. The aim of the project is to record the individual phases in time, to delimit the respective settlement areas and to reconstruct the conditions of life and economy for each time period.
A dense network of 10 pollen diagrams has been constructed. Several of them derive from the marginal area and from the centre of the large raised bog north of the siedlungskammer. These diagrams reflect the history of vegetation and habitation of a large region; due to the large pollen source area the habitation phases in the diagrams are poorly defined. Even in the utmost marginal diagram of this woodless bog, a great village with adjoining fields, situated only 100 m away from it, is registered with only low values of anthropogenic indicators. In contrast to this, the numerous pollen diagrams from kettle-hole bogs inside the siedlungskammer yield an exact picture of the habitation of the siedlungskammer and their individual parts.
Early traces of habitation can be identified in the pollen diagram soon after the elm decline (around 5190 BP). Some time later in the middle neolithic period there follows a marked habitation phase, which starts between 4500 and 4400 BP and reflects the immigration of the trichterbecher culture. It corresponds to the landnam phase of Iversen in Denmark and begins with a sharp decline of the pollen curves of lime and oak, followed by the increase of anthropogenic indicators pointing to arable and pastural farming. High values of wild grasses and Calluna witness extensive forest grazing. This middle to late neolithic habitation is also registered archaeologically by settlements and numerous graves.
After low human activity during Bronze Age and Older Iron Age times the archaeological and pollen analytical records of Roman and Migration periods is again very strong. This is followed by a gap in habitation during the 6th and 7th centuries and afterwards in the western part of the siedlungskammer from about 700 AD until the 14th century by the activity of the medieval village of Dalem, that was also excavated and whose fields were recorded by phosphate mapping to a size of 117 hectares. This medieval settlement phase is marked by much cereal cultivation (mainly rye).
The dense network of pollen diagrams offers an opportunity to register the dispersion of the anthropogenic indicators from the areas of settlement to different distances and thus to obtain quantitative clues for the assessment of these anthropogenic indicators in pollen diagrams. In fig. 4 the reflection of the neolithic culture in the kettle-hole bogs and the large raised bog is shown in 3 phases: a) pre landnam, b) TRB-landnam, c) post landnam. Among arboreal pollen the reaction of Quercus is sharp close to the settlement but is not found at more distant profiles, whilst in contrast to this Tilia shows a significant decline even far away from the settlements. The record of most anthropogenic indicators outside the habitation area is very low, in particular cereal pollen is poorly dispersed; much more certain as an indicator for habitation (also for arable farming!) is Plantago lanceolata. A strong increase of wild grasses (partly Calluna aswell) some distance from the habitation areas indicates far reaching forest grazing.
Fig. 5 illustrates the reflection of the anthropogenie indicators from the medieval village Dalem. In this instance the field area could be mapped exactly using phosphate investigations, and it has been possible to indicate the precise distances of the profile sites from the medieval fields. Here also, there is a clear correlation between decreasing anthropogenic indicators and increasing distance. In a kettle-hole bog (FLH) a distance of 3000 m away this marked settlement phase is not registered. The contrast between the pollen diagrams SWK and FLH (fig. 2 + 3, enclosure), illustrates the strong differences between diagrams from kettlehole bogs close to and distant from the settlements, for the neolithic as well as for the medieval period. On the basis of the examples presented here, implications concerning the interpretation of pollen diagrams with respect to habitation phases are discussed.
Behre, Karl-Ernst (1976): Beginn und Form der Plaggenwirtschaft in Nordwestdeutschland nach pollenanalytishen Untersuchungen in Ostfriesland. Neue Ausgrabungen und Forschungen in Niedersachsen, 10, 197-224, hdl:10013/epic.37165.d001
Median Latitude: 53.638889 * Median Longitude: 8.361111 * South-bound Latitude: 53.583333 * West-bound Longitude: 7.633333 * North-bound Latitude: 53.666667 * East-bound Longitude: 8.725000
Date/Time Start: 1970-07-15T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1973-10-15T00:00:00
DUNUM (Core2) * Latitude: 53.583333 * Longitude: 7.633333 * Date/Time: 1970-07-15T00:00:00 * Elevation: 5.0 m * Location: Dunum, Germany * Device: Metal boxes (MBOX) * Comment: center of kettle hole bog. Area: 1 ha. Meadow. Physiography: drained and sand covered raised bog. Surrounding vegetation: meadow.
SWIENSKU (Core4) * Latitude: 53.666667 * Longitude: 8.725000 * Date/Time: 1973-10-15T00:00:00 * Elevation: 5.0 m * Location: Swienskuhle, Germany * Device: Metal boxes (MBOX) * Comment: center of kettle hole bog. Area: 0.1 ha. Forested bog. Physiography: drained kettle lake hole bog. Surrounding vegetation: forest plantation.
Datasets listed in this publication series
- Behre, K-E; Kucan, D (2010): Age determination of sediment core SWIENSKU, Swienskuhle, Germany. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.740788
- Behre, K-E; Kucan, D (2010): Lithology of sediment core DUNUM, Dunum, Germany. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.741284
- Behre, K-E; Kucan, D (2010): Pollen profile SWIENSKU, Swienskuhle, Germany. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.739876