Middle to late Holocene Climate and Human Impact upon Surficial Processes and Soil Chrono-seequences in the Apulian-Lucanian Border Area of the Southern Italian Interior 

Friday, 19 December 2014
Peter Ernest Wigand1, Anthony Taylor2, Myles McCallum3, Behnaz Balmaki1 and Masoud Asgharianrostami4, (1)University of Nevada Reno, Reno, NV, United States, (2)Texas A & M University, Anthropology, College Station, TX, United States, (3)Saint Mary's University, Modern Languages and Classics, Halifax, NS, Canada, (4)University of Urbino, Department of Earth, Life and Environmental Sciences, Urbino, Italy
The relative affect of climate versus people upon the landscape of southern Italy 2000 years ago is not clearly understood. This is in part due to the fact that there are conflicting data regarding both the climate record and the nature and extent of human activity. Even the timings of climatic events varies from record to record, and geomorphic responses seem to be out of sink with these events or the responses are difficult to explain. Acording to data collected until now, during the early Holocene, climate seems to have been the primary factor in affecting surficial processes. However after 3,000 years ago human impact seems to have had significant influence. We are conducting a program of research using radiocarbon dated sequences of soils and spring discharge events, description of alluvial exposures and analysis of samples taken from these exposures, combined with a study of palynological, and plant macrofossil records to reconstruct regional climate variation. Reconstructed regional climate and changes in the degree of human activity are being investigated to determine their relative impact upon surfical processes, the geomorphic record, regional hydrology, and vegetation history. Samples from alluvial exposures, cores from springs, as well as samples from the archaeological site of San Felice, are being examined for evidence not only for changes in types and rates of sediment erosion and deposition, but also of the past vegetation record, that resulted from variations in precipitation. These are being compared with other records from southern Italy and the central Mediterranean to unravel the complex interaction of climate and human activity. Ultimately, a picture of the Apulian-Lucanian landscape not only for the last two millennium, but for most of the Holocene, will emerge.