Holocene climate change, vegetation history and human impact in the Central Mediterranean: evidence from the Maltese Islands

Francis A. Carroll, Christopher O. Hunt, Patrick J. Schembri, Anthony Bonnanno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Holocene climates and human impact in the Mediterranean basin have received much attention, but the Maltese Islands in the Central Mediterranean, although a pivotal area, have been little researched. Here, sedimentary and palynological data are presented for three cores from the Holocene coastal and shallowmarine
deposits of the Maltese Islands. These show deforestation from Pinus-Cupressaceae woodland in the early Neolithic, and then a long, but relatively stable history of agriculturally degraded environments to the present day. The major climate events which have affected the Italian and Balkan peninsulas to the
north, and Tunisia to the south, are not reflected in the pollen diagrams from the Maltese Islands because of the strong anthropogenic imprint on the Maltese vegetation from early in the Neolithic. Previous suggestions of environmentally-driven agricultural collapse at the end of the Neolithic appear, however,
to be substantiated and may be linked to regional aridification around 4300 cal. BP. Depopulation in early Medieval times is not supported by the current palynological evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Malta
  • Holocene
  • Central Mediterranean
  • Palynology
  • Landscape Degradation
  • Human Impact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Holocene climate change, vegetation history and human impact in the Central Mediterranean: evidence from the Maltese Islands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this