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Late Holocene landscape development around a Roman Iron Age mass grave, Alken Enge, Denmark

Søe, Niels Emil; Odgaard, Bent Vad; Nielsen, Anne Birgitte LU ; Olsen, Jesper and Kristiansen, Søren M. (2017) In Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 26(3). p.277-292
Abstract

Sediments from the small lake Ilsø situated in the Illerup/Alken Enge Valley were studied in order to investigate past landscape development at the time of a probably ritual human mass burial following battle during the Roman Iron Age (ad 1–400). A pollen record from Ilsø and a number of other records from Jutland were combined using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm to reconstruct local vegetation changes through the last 2,800 years. These methods were supplemented by studies of catchment-related geochemistry of the Ilsø lake sediments. The results show a marked reforestation event associated with a strong decrease in erosion levels at the very beginning of the first century ad, contemporaneous with the finds of human remains at... (More)

Sediments from the small lake Ilsø situated in the Illerup/Alken Enge Valley were studied in order to investigate past landscape development at the time of a probably ritual human mass burial following battle during the Roman Iron Age (ad 1–400). A pollen record from Ilsø and a number of other records from Jutland were combined using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm to reconstruct local vegetation changes through the last 2,800 years. These methods were supplemented by studies of catchment-related geochemistry of the Ilsø lake sediments. The results show a marked reforestation event associated with a strong decrease in erosion levels at the very beginning of the first century ad, contemporaneous with the finds of human remains at Alken Enge. Comparison with a pollen record 10 km away and with those from other sites, reveals that this reforestation occurs unusually early and rapidly, and is an unparalleled development in a Danish context. We suggest that the major landscape changes at the beginning of the Roman Iron Age and forest cover for the next few centuries comprise a possible example of ritual control of local land-use.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Erosion rates, Iron Age, Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm, Palaeolimnology
in
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany
volume
26
issue
3
pages
16 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84991628315
  • wos:000398929000002
ISSN
0939-6314
DOI
10.1007/s00334-016-0591-x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9a94501f-4d4f-47f2-828e-41a992a721a2
date added to LUP
2016-11-09 11:13:20
date last changed
2018-03-18 05:06:00
@article{9a94501f-4d4f-47f2-828e-41a992a721a2,
  abstract     = {<p>Sediments from the small lake Ilsø situated in the Illerup/Alken Enge Valley were studied in order to investigate past landscape development at the time of a probably ritual human mass burial following battle during the Roman Iron Age (ad 1–400). A pollen record from Ilsø and a number of other records from Jutland were combined using the Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm to reconstruct local vegetation changes through the last 2,800 years. These methods were supplemented by studies of catchment-related geochemistry of the Ilsø lake sediments. The results show a marked reforestation event associated with a strong decrease in erosion levels at the very beginning of the first century ad, contemporaneous with the finds of human remains at Alken Enge. Comparison with a pollen record 10 km away and with those from other sites, reveals that this reforestation occurs unusually early and rapidly, and is an unparalleled development in a Danish context. We suggest that the major landscape changes at the beginning of the Roman Iron Age and forest cover for the next few centuries comprise a possible example of ritual control of local land-use.</p>},
  author       = {Søe, Niels Emil and Odgaard, Bent Vad and Nielsen, Anne Birgitte and Olsen, Jesper and Kristiansen, Søren M.},
  issn         = {0939-6314},
  keyword      = {Erosion rates,Iron Age,Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm,Palaeolimnology},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {277--292},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Vegetation History and Archaeobotany},
  title        = {Late Holocene landscape development around a Roman Iron Age mass grave, Alken Enge, Denmark},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00334-016-0591-x},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2017},
}