Reference : High spatial resolution of late-Holocene human activities in the moist forests of cen...
Scientific journals : Article
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Arts & humanities : History
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Life sciences : Multidisciplinary, general & others
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/197852
High spatial resolution of late-Holocene human activities in the moist forests of central Africa using soil charcoal and charred botanical remains
English
Morin, Julie mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Form. doct. sc. agro. & ingé. biol.]
Biwolé, Achille [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > >]
Gorel, Anaïs mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels >]
Vleminckx, Jason [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > > > >]
Gillet, Jean-François [Nature Forest Environment > > > >]
Bourland, Nils [Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale > > > >]
Hardy, Olivier J [Université Libre de Bruxelles - ULB > > > >]
Livingstone Smith, Alexandre [Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale > > > >]
Daïnou, Kasso mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]
Dedry, Laurent [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > >]
Beeckman, Hans [Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale > > > >]
Doucet, Jean-Louis mailto [Université de Liège > Ingénierie des biosystèmes (Biose) > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales >]
5-Jun-2016
Holocene
SAGE Publications
26
12
1954-1967
Yes (verified by ORBi)
International
0959-6836
1477-0911
[en] tropical Africa ; Cameroon ; tropical forest ; archaeology ; charcoal analysis ; oil palm ; human disturbances ; human settlements ; slash and burn agriculture ; Holocene
[en] Palaeoecological and archaeological studies have demonstrated that human populations have long inhabited the moist forests of central Africa. However, spatial and temporal patterns of human activities have hardly been investigated with satisfactory accuracy. In this study, we propose to characterize past human activities at local scale by using a systematic quantitative and qualitative methodology based on soil charcoal and charred botanical remains. A total of 88 equidistant test-pits were excavated along six transects in two contrasting forest types in southern Cameroon. Charred botanical remains were collected by water-sieving and sorted by type (wood charcoals, oil palm endocarps, and unidentified seeds). A total of 50 Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C dates were also obtained. Results showed that charred macroremains were found at multiple places in the forest, suggesting scattered human activities, which were distributed into two main periods (Phase A: 2300-1300 BP – Phase B: 580 BP to the present). Charred botanical remains indicated two types of land use: (i) domestic, with oil palm endocarps most often associated with potsherds (villages) and (ii) agricultural, with charcoal as probable remnant of slash-and-burn cultivation (fields). Oil palm endocarp abundance decreased with distance from the identified human settlements. Our methodology allowed documenting, at high resolution, the spatial and temporal patterns of human activities in central African moist forests and could be applied to other tropical contexts.
FRIA - Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture ; FRFC - Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective ; Fonds Léopold III pour l'Exploration et la Conservation de la Nature asbl ; F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
http://hdl.handle.net/2268/197852
10.1177/0959683616646184

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