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The Holocene of the Agro Pontino graben Recent advances in its palaeogeography, palaeoecology, and tephrostratigraphy

, : The Holocene of the Agro Pontino graben Recent advances in its palaeogeography, palaeoecology, and tephrostratigraphy. Quaternary International 303: 153-162

In the past decade (2000 2010), research within the scope of the 'Hidden Landscapes' project by RUG archaeologists provided important information on the Holocene history of the Agro Pontino graben. This information complemented earlier studies by Dutch Universities (UvA, RUG and UL). The graben was found to hold important tephrochronological, palaeoecological and archaeological archives, which deserve to be studied in more detail. This is demonstrated by the recent robust dating of the Avellino pumice layer at 3945 10 cal BP obtained from this archive (Sevink et al., 2011) and by the complex denudation record resulting from early land use in its hinterland. An overview is given of the recent knowledge on the Bronze Age to recent landscape that existed in the graben and of the major Early Bronze Age sites, of which most were associated with a large lake. Doubts have grown about the reliability of the existing chronological framework derived from earlier pollen cores by conventional radiocarbon dating. These doubts are discussed in the context of results from recent research, with emphasis on the 'hard water effect' that has been largely neglected in the earlier studies. The main current research topics are indicated.


DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.01.006

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