Advertisement

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 187–203 | Cite as

From foraging to farming in the Great Mazurian Lake District: palynological studies on Lake Miłkowskie sediments, northeast Poland

  • Agnieszka Wacnik
Original Article

Abstract

Early and mid Holocene local vegetational history, with special reference to woodland communities, was revealed by pollen analysis of a radiocarbon dated lake sediment profile from Lake Miłkowskie (Jezioro Miłkowskie) in northeastern Poland. The main factor controlling the dynamics of woodland composition changes until ca. 1950 b.c. was climate. After that, the role of human activity became increasingly important. The results of high-resolution pollen analyses provide evidence for early woodland disturbances caused by Mesolithic people at ca. 6950 b.c. Several episodes of human impact, differing in scale, and separated by subsequent episodes of woodland regeneration/stabilization were noted. The first traces of local crop farming, shown by the presence of Cerealia pollen, were recorded at ca. 3800 b.c. in the Paraneolithic/Neolithic period. Animal husbandry as well as cereal cultivation played only a marginal role in the economy, which was traditionally based on hunting, fishing and gathering through the Neolithic and the early Bronze Age. The change in economic strategies from foraging towards farming, starting around 3750 b.c., was a long-lasting process. An increase of productive economy took place in the middle Bronze Age at ca. 1400 b.c.

Keywords

Vegetation history Human impact Mesolithic-Neolithic and Neolithic-Bronze Age transitions Early Cerealia type pollen Northeast Poland 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The paper presents a part of an interdisciplinary project supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, grants no. 6 P04F 083 20 and no. 2 P04F 030 27. I wish to express special thanks to M. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa for her steady support and encouragement during the studies, to T. Goslar, J. Czernik, and A. Tatur for their great help during field and laboratory work and for helpful discussions of obtained results. I am also grateful to M. Latałowa and an anonymous reviewer for very detailed editorial remarks and many helpful suggestions on the manuscript.

References

  1. Antanaitis I (2001). East Baltic economic and social organization in the Late Stone and Early Bronze Ages. Doctoral dissertation summary, Humanities, History (05 H). Vilnius University, pp 5–31Google Scholar
  2. Antanaitis I, Riehl S, Kisieliené D, Kelertas K (2000) The evolution of the subsistence economy and archaeological research in Lithuania. Lietuvos archeologija, vol 19. Diemedžio leidykla, Vilnius, pp 47–67Google Scholar
  3. Behre K-E (1978) Die Klimaschwankungen im europäischen Präboreal. Petermanns Geogr Mitt 2:97–102Google Scholar
  4. Behre K-E (1981) The interpretation of anthropogenic indicators in pollen diagrams. Pollen Spores 23:225–245Google Scholar
  5. Behre K-E (2007) Evidence for Mesolithic agriculture in and around central Europe? Veget Hist Archaeobot 16:203–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berglund BE, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M (1986) Pollen analysis and pollen diagrams. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene palaeoecology and palaeohydrology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 455–484Google Scholar
  7. Beug H-J (1961) Leitfaden der Pollenbestimmung, Lieferung 1. Fischer, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  8. Björck S, Rundgren M, Ingólfsson Ó, Funder S (1997) The Preboreal oscillation around the Nordic Seas: terrestrial and lacustrine responses. J Quat Sci 12:455–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bos JAA (2001) Lateglacial and Early Holocene vegetation history of the northern Wetterau and the Amöneburger Basin (Hessen), central-west Germany. Rev Palaeobot Palynol 115:177–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bos AAJ, Urz R (2003) Late Glacial and early Holocene environment in the middle Lahn river valley (Hessen, central-west Germany) and the local impact of early Mesolithic people–pollen and macrofossil evidence. Veget Hist Archaeobot 12:19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Choiński A (1991) Katalog jezior Polski. Część druga. Pojezierze Mazurskie [Catalogue of Polish lakes, Part two. The Mazurian Lake District, in Polish]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM, PoznańGoogle Scholar
  12. Davis BAS, Brewer S, Stevenson AC, Guiot J, data contributors (2003) The temperature of Europe during the Holocene reconstructed from pollen data. Quat Sci Rev 22:1701–1716Google Scholar
  13. Edwards KJ (1990) Fire and the Scottish Mesolithic: evidence from microscopic charcoal. In: Vermeersch PM, Peer PV (eds) Contribution to the Mesolithic in Europe. Leuven University Press, Leuven, pp 71–79Google Scholar
  14. Ellenberg H, Weber HE, Düll R, Wirth V, Werner W, Paulissen D (1991) Zeigerwerte von Pflanzen in Mitteleuropa. Scr Geobot 18:1–248Google Scholar
  15. Evans J (1992) Coppice forestry—an overview. In: Buckley GP (ed) Ecology and management of coppice woodlands. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 18–28Google Scholar
  16. Filbrandt-Czaja A (2000) Vegetation changes in the surroundings of Lake Dgał Wielki in the light of pollen analysis. In: Kola A (ed) Studies in lake dwellings of West Baltic Barrow culture. UMK, Toruń, pp 61–67Google Scholar
  17. Galiński T (2002) European Mesolithic societies. Settlements, economy, culture of hunters 8000–3000 BC (in Polish, with English summary). Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie, SzczecinGoogle Scholar
  18. Gardner A (1999) The ecology of Neolithic environmental impacts—re-evaluation of existing theory using case studies from Hungary and Slovenia. Doc Praehist 26:163–183Google Scholar
  19. Göransson H (1994) Comments on ‘Neolithic farming practice—an archaeological response to the Göransson hypothesis’. Fornvännen 89:168–184Google Scholar
  20. Gross H (1935) Die Steppenheidetheorie und die vorgeschichtliche Besiedlung Ostpreussens. Altpreuss 3:152–168Google Scholar
  21. Gross H (1938) Ergebnisse der moorgeologischen Untersuchung der vorgeschichtlichen Dörfer im Zedmar-Bruch. Nachrichttenblatt für Deutsche Vorzeit 14:126–134Google Scholar
  22. Gumiński W (1995) Environment, economy and habitation during the Mesolithic at Dudka, Great Mazurian Lakeland, NE-Poland. Przegl Archeol 43:5–46Google Scholar
  23. Gumiński W (1999) Natural environment—and the model of economy and settlement in the Mesolithic and Paraneolithic at the Dudka site in the Masurian Lakeland (in Polish, with English summary). Archeologia Polski 44:31–74Google Scholar
  24. Gumiński W (2001) The Zedmar. On the border of the “Western” Neolithic. In: Czebreszuk J, Kryvalcevič M, Makarowicz P (eds) Od neolityzacji do początków epoki brązu. Przemiany kulturowe w międzyrzeczu Odry i Dniepru między VI i II tys. przed Chr. (in Polish, with English summary), Poznań, pp 133–152Google Scholar
  25. Gumiński W (2003) Szczepanki site 8. A new peat-bog site of Zedmar culture in the Great Mazurian Lakes Region, NE Poland (in Polish, with English summary). Światowit 5 (46), fasc. B:53–104Google Scholar
  26. Gumiński W (2008) Water level changes of the former Lake Staświńskie on the basis of sediment stratygraphy and settlement data. In: Wacnik A, Madeyska E (eds) Polska północno-wschodnia w holocenie Człowiek i jego środowisko (in Polish, with English summary). Botanical Guidebooks 30:25–45Google Scholar
  27. Gumiński W, Michniewicz M (2003) Forest and Mobility. A case from the fishing camp site Dudka, Masuria, north-eastern Poland. In: Larsson L (ed) Mesolithic on the move. Oxbow, Oxford, pp 110–127Google Scholar
  28. Haas JN, Richoz I, Tinner W, Wick L (1998) Synchronous Holocene climatic oscillations recorded on the Swiss Plateau and at timberline in the Alps. Holocene 8:301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Huntley B, Birks HJB (1983) An atlas of past and present pollen maps for Europe: 0–13000 years ago. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Innes J, Blackford J, Rowley-Conwy P (2003) The start of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in north-west Europe—the palynological contribution. Antiquity 77(297):647–652Google Scholar
  31. Jutrzenka-Trzebiatowski A (1999) Wpływ człowieka na szatę leśną Polski północno-wschodniej w ciągu dziejów [Human impact on forest communities in north-eastern Poland—over history, in Polish] Rozprawy i Materiały Ośrodka Badań Naukowych im. Wojciecha Kętrzyńskiego, Olsztyn, pp 7–171Google Scholar
  32. Karczewska M, Karczewski M (1993) Arkusze Archeologicznego Zdjęcia Polski, nr 20–74, 21–74. [Archaeological Record of Poland, no. 20–74, 21–74, in Polish] Instytut Historii Uniwersytetu w Białymstoku, BiałystokGoogle Scholar
  33. Karczewska M, Karczewski M, Pirożnikow E (1996) Masuren. Zwischen Niegocin und Śniardwy. Gemeindeverwaltung Miłki, MiłkiGoogle Scholar
  34. Kempisty E, Sulgostowska Z (1986) Reconnaissance of the area around the Łąki Staświńskie peat-bog in Suwałki province (in Polish, with English summary). Sprawozdania Archeologiczne 38:57–76Google Scholar
  35. Knoblauch G (1931) Pollenanalytische Untersuchung meeresnaher Moore in Ostpreussen. Unser Ostland 1:219–264Google Scholar
  36. Kondracki J (2000) Geografia regionalna Polski [Regional geography of Poland, in Polish]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa, pp 103–118Google Scholar
  37. Kubiak-Martens L (1996) Evidence for possible use of plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic diet from the site of Całowanie in the central part of the Polish Plain. Veget Hist Archaeobot 5:33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kubiak-Martens L (1999) The plant food component of the diet at the late Mesolithic (Ertebølle) settlement at Tybrind Vig, Denmark. Veget Hist Archaeobot 8:117–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kuneš P, Pokorný P, Šída P (2008) Detection of the impact of early Holocene hunter-gatherers on vegetation in the Czech Republic, using multivariate analysis of pollen data. Veget Hist Archaeobot 17:269–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kupryjanowicz M (2002) Der Wandel der Pflanzenwelt in der Nachbarschaft der Fundstelle 41 in Paprotki Kolonia an der Masurischen Seenplatte. In: Karczewska M, Karczewski M, Pirożnikow E (eds) Die Siedlung aus der Römischen Kaiserzeit und der Völkerwanderungszeit in Paprotki Kolonia Fundstelle 41 in der Masurischen Seenplatte. (Band 2. Paläoökologische Analysen) (in Polish, with German summary). Podlasko-Mazurska Pracownia Archeologiczna, Białystok, pp 55–76Google Scholar
  41. Latałowa M (1982) Postglacial vegetational changes in the eastern Baltic Coastal Zone of Poland. Acta Palaeobot 22:179–249Google Scholar
  42. Latałowa M (1988) A palaeobotanical study of the peat-bog at Orle in the Reda-Łeba ice-marginal valley. Folia Quat 58:45–58Google Scholar
  43. Latałowa M (1992) Man and vegetation in the pollen diagrams from Wolin Island (NW Poland). Acta Palaeobot 32:123–249Google Scholar
  44. Matuszkiewicz JM (2001) Zespoły leśne Polski [Forest associations of Poland, in Polish]. PWN, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  45. Matuszkiewicz W (2002) Przewodnik do oznaczania zbiorowisk roślinnych Polski [Guide book for determination of plant communities in Poland, in Polish]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  46. Mayewski PA, Rohling EE, Stager JC, Karlén W, Maasch KA, Meeker LD, Meyerson EA, Gasse F, Van Kreveld S, Holmgren K, Lee-Thorp J, Rosqvist G, Rack F, Staubwasser M, Schneider RR, Steig EJ (2004) Holocene climate variability. Quat Res 62:243–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Moe D, Kihno K, Pirrus R (1992) Anthropogenic disturbance of vegetation in Estonia through the Holocene based on some selected pollen diagrams. A preliminary survey. Pact 37:80–95Google Scholar
  48. Nalepka D (1995) Palynological investigations of an archaeological site at Dudka (profile D1–26). Przegląd Archeologiczny 43:61–64Google Scholar
  49. Okulicz J (1981) Osadnictwo ziem pruskich od czasów najdawniejszych do XIII wieku. Dzieje Warmii i Mazur w zarysie [Settlement of Prussian territory from the beginning until the 13th century. History of Warmia and Mazury in the outline, in Polish]. Part 1. PWN, Warszawa, pp 8–60Google Scholar
  50. Pawlikowski M, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Schönborn W, Stupnicka E, Szeroczyńska K (1982) Woryty near Gietrzwałd, Olsztyn Lake district, NE Poland—vegetational history and lake development during the last 12 000 years. Acta Palaeobot 22:85–116Google Scholar
  51. Peglar SM (1993) The mid-Holocene Ulmus pollen decline in annually-laminated lake sediments. Holocene 3:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Polakowski B, Chudyba H, Dąbek E, Dziedzic J, Jutrzenka-Trzebiatowski A, Korniak T, Pietraszewski W (1976) Zarys stosunków geobotanicznych Mazurskiego Parku Krajobrazowego. I. Zespoły roślinne parku. [An outline geobotanical relationship of Mazurian Landscape Park. I. Plant associations, in Polish]. Zeszyty Naukowe ART Olsztyn 18:31–40Google Scholar
  53. Polakowski B, Dziedzic J, Dąbek E, Jutrzenka-Trzebiatowski A, Korniak T, Pietraszewski W (1980) Zarys stosunków geobotanicznych Mazurskiego Parku Krajobrazowego. V. Zespoły torfowiskowe [An outline geobotanical relationship of Mazurian Landscape Park. V. Peat-bog associations, in Polish]. Zeszyty Naukowe ART Olsztyn 30:25–37Google Scholar
  54. Poska A, Saarse L (2006) New evidence of possible crop introduction to north-eastern Europe during the Stone Age. Veget Hist Archaeobot 15:169–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Poska A, Saarse L, Veski S (2004) Reflections of pre- and early-agrarian human impact in the pollen diagrams of Estonia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 209:37–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rackham O (1980) Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England. Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  57. Rackham O (1988) Trees and woodland in a crowded landscape—the cultural landscape of the British Isles. In: Birks HH, Birks HJB, Kaland PE, Moe D (eds) The cultural landscape, past, present and future. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 53–78Google Scholar
  58. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M (1966) Bottom sediments of the Mikołajki Lake (Masurian Lake District) in the light of palaeobotanical investigations (in Polish, with English summary). Acta Palaeobot 7:1–118Google Scholar
  59. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M (1989) Environmental changes recorded in lakes and mires of Poland during the last 13 000 years. Acta Palaeobot 29:1–120Google Scholar
  60. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Van Geel B (1992) Early human disturbance of the natural environment recorded in annually laminated sediments of Lake Gościąż, central Poland. Veget Hist Archaeobot 1:33–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, van Geel B (1998) Human impact on the vegetation of the Lake Gościąż surroundings in prehistoric and early historic times. In: Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Goslar T, Madeyska T, Starkel L (eds) Lake Gościąż, central Poland. A monographic study. Part 1. W. Szafer Institute of Botany Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, pp 267–294Google Scholar
  62. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Latałowa M (1996) Poland. In: Berglund BE, Birks HJB, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Wright HE (eds) Palaeoecological events during the last 15000 years. Regional synthesis of palaeoecological studies of lakes and mires in Europe. Wiley, Chichester, pp 403–472Google Scholar
  63. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Latałowa M, Wasylikowa K, Tobolski K, Madeyska E, Wright HE, Turner Ch (2004) Late Glacial and Holocene history of vegetation in Poland based on isopollen maps. W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, KrakówGoogle Scholar
  64. Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M, Nalepka D, Goslar T (2003) Some problems of forest transformation at the transition to the oligocratic/Homo sapiens phase of the Holocene interglacial in northern lowlands of central Europe. Veget Hist Archaeobot 12:233–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rimantiené R (1999) Traces of agricultural activity in the Stone Age settlements of Lithuania. Pact 57:275–290Google Scholar
  66. Rybicka M (2008) The Neolithization of the Prussian Plain and Northern Mazuria. Archaeological evidence from Równina Dolna, site III. In: Wacnik A, Madeyska E (eds) Polska północno-wschodnia w holocenie. Człowiek i jego środowisko (in Polish, with English summary). Botanical Guidebooks 30:147–155Google Scholar
  67. Schild R, Tobolski K, Kubiak-Martens L, Pazdur MF, Pazdur A, Vogel JC, Strafford TW (1999) Stratigraphy, palaeoecology and radiochronology of the site of Całowanie. Folia Quat 70:239–268Google Scholar
  68. Siemaszko J (1999) Stone Age settlement in the Lega valley microregion of North-East Poland. European Journal of Archaeology 2:293–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sobieraj J (2004) Die Schnurkeramikkultur und Anfänge der Bronzezeit zwischen der unteren Weichsel und Memel. In: Hoffmann MJ, Sobieraj J (eds) Mensch und Umwelt in der Bronzezeit und früheren Eisenzeiten dem südöstlichen Rand der Ostsee (in Polish, with German summary). Pruthenia Antiqua, Olsztyn, pp 71–79Google Scholar
  70. Stančikaitė M, Kabalienė M, Ostrauskaus T, Guobytė R (2002) Environment and man around Lakes Dūba and Pelesa, SE Lithuania, during the Late Glacial and Holocene. Geological Quarterly 46:391–409Google Scholar
  71. Starkel L (1999) Geografia Polski. Środowisko przyrodnicze [Geography of Poland. Natural environment, in Polish]. PWN, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  72. Starkel L (2002) Changes in the frequency of extreme events as the indicator of climate change in the Holocene (in fluvial systems). Quat Int 91:25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Stasiak J (1963) Historia jeziora Kruklin w świetle osadów strefy litoralnej [History of Kruklin Lake as revealed by the deposits of its littoral zone, in Polish]. Prace Geograficzne Instytutu Geograficznego PAN 42:1–94Google Scholar
  74. Stockmarr J (1971) Tablets with spores used in absolute pollen analysis. Pollen Spores 13:615–621Google Scholar
  75. Stuiver M, Reimer PJ, Reimer R (2005) CALIB 5.0 [WWW program and documentation]Google Scholar
  76. Sulgostowska Z (2003) Mesolithic colonisation of south-eastern Subbalticum. In: Larsson L (ed) Mesolithic on the move. Oxbow, Oxford, pp 47–51Google Scholar
  77. Szumiński A, Liskowski K (1993) Objaśnienia do Szczegółowej Mapy Geologicznej Polski, w skali 1:50 000, arkusz Miłki [Guidelines to the Geological Map of Poland, 1: 50 000, part Miłki, in Polish]. Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  78. Tallantire PA (2002) The early-Holocene spread of hazel (Corylus avellana L.) in Europe north and west of the Alps: an ecological hypothesis. Holocene 12:81–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Toney JL, Anderson RS (2006) A postglacial palaeoecological record from the San Juan Mountains of Colorado USA: fire, climate and vegetation history. Holocene 16:505–517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wacnik A, Ralska-Jasiewiczowa M (2008) Development of vegetation in relation to local prehistoric settlement in the vicinity of the fossil Lake Staświńskie (NE Poland). In: Wacnik A, Madeyska E (eds) Polska północno-wschodnia w holocenie Człowiek i jego środowisko (in Polish, with English summary). Botanical Guidebooks 30:207–228Google Scholar
  81. Walanus A, Nalepka D (1999) POLPAL programs for counting pollen grains, diagrams plotting and numerical analysis. Acta Palaeobot Suppl 2:659–661Google Scholar
  82. Woś A (1999) Klimat Polski [Climate of Poland, in Polish]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, WarszawaGoogle Scholar
  83. Zając A, Zając M (eds) (2001) Distribution atlas of vascular plants in Poland. Pracownia Chorologia Komputerowej Instytutu Botaniki Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego, KrakówGoogle Scholar
  84. Zvelebil M (1994) Plant use in the Mesolithic and its role in the transition to farming. Proceed Prehist Soc 60:35–74Google Scholar
  85. Żurek S, Pazdur A (1999) Zapis zmian paleohydrologicznych w rozwoju torfowisk Polski [Palaeohydrological changes in the development of Polish peat-bogs, in Polish]. In: Pazdur A, Bluszcz A, Stankowski W, Starkel L (eds) Geochronologia górnego czwartorzędu Polski w świetle datowania radiowęglowego i luminescencyjnego. Instytut Fizyki Politechniki Śląskiej, Gliwice, pp 215–228Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations