Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 249–259 | Cite as

The arboreal vegetation of the Central Negev Highlands, Israel, at the end of the Pleistocene: Evidence from archaeological charred wood remains

  • Uri Baruch
  • Nigel Goring-Morris
Article

Abstract

Charcoal assemblages from five Terminal Pleistocene sites in the Central Negev Highlands, Israel, have been analyzed. Eleven taxa have been identified, two of which, juniper andPaliurus, no longer grow in this district, and one,Pinus (of which only a single occurrence was encountered), is considered intrusive, and the rest are taxa which still characterize the region today. Among these latter,Pistacia atlantica (which is the dominant tree in this area today) was the most common. Association of juniper andPaliurus is found today only in the northern Near East. It can not be ascertained that such an association characterized the Central Negev Highlands throughout the entire period spanned by the charcoal assemblages, since it is possible thatPistacia atlantica may have become temporarily extinct. In any case the former occurrence of juniper and particularlyPaliurus in the Central Negev Highlands clearly point to higher humidity in this region during the final stages of the Pleistocene. This conclusion is corroborated by a variety of proxy climatic indicators throughout the southern Levant.

Key words

Charcoal southern Levant Negev Terminal Pleistocene 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uri Baruch
    • 1
  • Nigel Goring-Morris
    • 2
  1. 1.Israel Antiquities AuthorityJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Institute of ArchaeologyThe Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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