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Subrecent Pollen Spectra of the Middle Volga Region and their Applicability for Climate and Land-Use History Reconstruction

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.4, No. 42)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ;

Page : 8-21

Keywords : archaeological and soil studies; spore-pollen analysis of soil; subrecent spectra; anthropogenic indicators; history of vegetation; history of land-use; Middle Volga region;

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The paper presents the results of spore-pollen analysis of 47 surface soil samples from the Middle Volga region, taken both in territories with vegetation close to zonal one and in heavily disturbed vegetation areas and agricultural lands. The analysis showed an ambiguous relationship between subrecent spectra and modern vegetation, both local and regional. This is explained by strong anthropogenic transformation of landscapes and the spread of conifer plantations, which form the basis of the modern “pollen rain”. Comparison of the soil subrecent spectra with the spectra of the buried soils uncovered during archaeological excavations in Bolgar showed that the soils of different archaeological eras differ in the composition of the pollen preserved in them, which reflects significant changes in the landscape over time. These changes are associated mainly with the change of the dominant types of land use. It is shown that the pollen spectra of the trampled open areas (roadsides, wastelands and cattle tracks) have characteristic distinctive features, which can be used in the interpretation of the results of archaeological-soil studies.

Last modified: 2023-01-25 21:30:40