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Lateglacial And Early Holocene Environments And Human Occupation In Brandenburg, Eastern Germany

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The  paper reports   on  the  results   of  the  pollen, plant macrofossil   and geochemical  analyses and the AMS 14C-based  chronology  of the «Rüdersdorf»  outcrop situated  east of Berlin  in Brandenburg  (Germany).  The postglacial  landscape  changed from an open one to generally forested by ca. 14 cal.  kyr BP. Woody  plants  (mainly  birch and pine) contributed up to 85% to the pollen assemblages ca. 13.4–12.5 cal. kyr BP. The subsequent Younger Dryas ( YD) interval is characterized by a decrease in arboreal pollen (AP) to 75% but led neither to substantial deforestation nor spread of tundra vegetation. This supports the concept  that the YD cooling was mainly limited to the winter months, while summers  remained  comparably  warm and allowed  much broader  (than initially believed) spread of cold-tolerant boreal trees. Further support for this theory comes  from the fact that the relatively low AP values persisted until ca. 10.6 cal. kyr BP, when  the «hazel phase» of the regional  vegetation  succession   began. The postglacial  hunter-gatherer occupation is archaeologically confirmed in Brandenburg since ca. 13 cal. kyr BP, i.e. much later than in the western part of Germany and ca. 1000 years after the major amelioration in the Rüdersdorf environmental record.

About the Authors

Franziska Kobe
Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Geological Sciences, Paleontology.


Martin K. Bittner
Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Geological Sciences, Paleontology.


Christian Leipe
Freie Universität Berlin; Nagoya University

Institute of Geological Sciences, Paleontology, Freie Universität Berlin; Institute for Space-Earth  Environmental  Research (ISEE), Nagoya University.

Berlin, Germany; Nagoya, Japan.

Philipp Hoelzmann
Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Geographical Sciences, Physical Geography.


Tengwen Long
University of Nottingham Ningbo China

School of Geographical Sciences.


Mayke Wagner
German Archaeological Institute

Eurasia Department  and Beijing Branch Office.


Romy Zibulski
Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Geological Sciences, Paleontology.


Pavel E. Tarasov
Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Geological Sciences, Paleontology.



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For citations:

Kobe F., Bittner M.K., Leipe C., Hoelzmann P., Long T., Wagner M., Zibulski R., Tarasov P.E. Lateglacial And Early Holocene Environments And Human Occupation In Brandenburg, Eastern Germany. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2019;12(2):132-147.

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