A fluvial record of the mid-Holocene rapid climatic changes in the middle Rhone valley (Espeluche-Lalo, France) and of their impact on Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies

Abstract : This multi-proxy study of a small floodplain in the Rhone catchment area, at the northern edge of the Mediterranean morphoclimatic system, provides valuable information concerning the impact of mid Holocene climate variability (8.5-7.0 ka) and the effects of two rapid climatic changes (8.2 and 7.7/7.1 ka) on an alluvial plain, its basin and the first farming societies of the Rhone valley. Around 7.7/7.1 ka, the combined effects of (1) a strong rate of change in insolation and (2) variations in solar activity amplified marine and atmospheric circulation in the north-west Atlantic (Bond event 5b), which imply continental hydrological, soil and vegetation changes in the small catchment area. For this period, strong fluctuations in the plant cover ratio have been identified, related to a regime of sustained and regular fires, as well as abundant erosion of the hill slopes and frequent fluvial metamorphoses which led to braiding of the watercourse in this floodplain. There are few data available to evaluate the impact of natural events on prehistoric communities. This continental archive offers clear multi-proxy data for discussion of these aspects, having 4 cultural layers interbedded in the fluvial sequence (1 Late Mesolithic, 3 Cardial/Epicardial). Earlier data indicate the difficulty in recognizing such cultural features in the low alluvial plains of southern France during the Mesolithic/Early Neolithic transition, which should lead to caution when developing settlement models for this period. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2016, 136 (SI), pp.66--84. 〈10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.11.019〉
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Soumis le : mardi 24 janvier 2017 - 11:32:56
Dernière modification le : jeudi 7 février 2019 - 17:24:48

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Jean-François Berger, Claire Delhon, Frédéric Magnin, Sandrine Bonte, Dominique Peyric, et al.. A fluvial record of the mid-Holocene rapid climatic changes in the middle Rhone valley (Espeluche-Lalo, France) and of their impact on Late Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies. Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2016, 136 (SI), pp.66--84. 〈10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.11.019〉. 〈hal-01444687〉

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