Landscape potential for the adoption of crop cultivation: Role of local soil properties and groundwater table rise during 6000-5400 BP in Flevoland (central Netherlands)

D.F.A.M. van den Biggelaar, S.J. Kluiving, S.J.P. Bohncke, R.T. van Balen, C. Kasse, M.A. Prins, J. Kolen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents a new perspective for the temporal variation of crop cultivation adoption during the period 6000-5400BP in Flevoland (central Netherlands) based on the spatial evolution of soils and hydrology. To determine the role of soil properties and groundwater level rise in the adoption of crop cultivation in wetlands, mapping of the mid-Holocene palaeotopography, palaeohydrology, soil conditions and distribution of Swifterbant archaeological remains was combined with grain size analyses of cored sediments in two selected study areas. Results show that the low natural fertility and water holding capacity of the sandy soils on the Pleistocene surface in southern Flevoland compared to the loamy soils in the northern part of Flevoland, can explain the lack of crop cultivation in the south. The relation between natural soil fertility and initial adoption of crop cultivation in the IJssel/Vecht valley corresponds with examples from other wetlands in northwest Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-95
JournalQuaternary International
Volume367
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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