Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 269–287 | Cite as

Detection of the impact of early Holocene hunter-gatherers on vegetation in the Czech Republic, using multivariate analysis of pollen data

  • Petr Kuneš
  • Petr Pokorný
  • Petr Šída
Original Article


Pollen data from the Czech Republic was used to detect the early Holocene impact of hunter-gatherers on vegetation based on a selection of 19 early Holocene pollen profiles, complemented with archaeological information regarding the intensity of local and regional Mesolithic human habitation. Archaeological evidence was assigned to simple categories reflecting the intensity of habitation and distance from pollen sites. Multivariate methods (PCA and RDA) were used to determine relationships between sites and possible anthropogenic pollen indicators and to test how these indicators relate to the archaeological evidence. In several profiles the pollen signal was influenced by local Mesolithic settlement. Specific pollen types (e.g. Calluna vulgaris, Plantago lanceolata, Solanum and Pteridium aquilinum) were found to be significantly correlated with human activity. The role of settlement proximity to the investigation site, the statistical significance of pollen indicators of human activity, as well as the early occurrence of Corylus avellana and its possible anthropogenic dispersal, are discussed.


Anthropogenic pollen indicators Mesolithic Early human impact Corylus avellana Multivariate analysis 



This study was supported by the Grant Agency of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic through project no. KJB6111305, IAAX00020701 and by the Ministry of Education project no. MSM0021620828. We are also very grateful to the original data contributors, Vlasta Jankovská and Libor Petr. We also thank Steve Ridgill, who made our English more concise and readable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in PraguePraha 2Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of ArchaeologyAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPraha 1Czech Republic
  3. 3.National MuseumPraha 1Czech Republic

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