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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The resilience of postglacial hunter-gatherers to abrupt climate change
Author(s): Blockley, Simon
Candy, Ian
Matthews, Ian
Langdon, Pete
Langdon, Cath
Palmer, Adrian
Lincoln, Paul
Abrook, Ashley
Taylor, Barry
Conneller, Chantal
Bayliss, Alex
MacLeod, Alison
Deeprose, Laura
Darvill, Chris
Rebecca, Kearney
Beavan, Nancy
Staff, Richard
Bamforth, Michael
Taylor, Maisie
Milner, Nicky
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Keywords: Anthropology
Issue Date: 31-May-2018
Citation: Blockley S, Candy I, Matthews I, Langdon P, Langdon C, Palmer A, Lincoln P, Abrook A, Taylor B, Conneller C, Bayliss A, MacLeod A, Deeprose L, Darvill C, Rebecca K, Beavan N, Staff R, Bamforth M, Taylor M & Milner N (2018) The resilience of postglacial hunter-gatherers to abrupt climate change. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2 (5), pp. 810-818.
Abstract: Understanding the resilience of early societies to climate change is an essential part of exploring the environmental sensitivity of human populations. There is significant interest in the role of abrupt climate events as a driver of early Holocene human activity, but there are very few well-dated records directly compared with local climate archives. Here, we present evidence from the internationally important Mesolithic site of Star Carr showing occupation during the early Holocene, which is directly compared with a high-resolution palaeoclimate record from neighbouring lake beds. We show that—once established—there was intensive human activity at the site for several hundred years when the community was subject to multiple, severe, abrupt climate events that impacted air temperatures, the landscape and the ecosystem of the region. However, these results show that occupation and activity at the site persisted regardless of the environmental stresses experienced by this society. The Star Carr population displayed a high level of resilience to climate change, suggesting that postglacial populations were not necessarily held hostage to the flickering switch of climate change. Instead, we show that local, intrinsic changes in the wetland environment were more significant in determining human activity than the large-scale abrupt early Holocene climate events.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41559-018-0508-4
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Accepted for publication in Nature Ecology & Evolution published by Springer Nature. Article is available at:

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