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ANTAEUS 27 (2004) 287-292
AGRICULTURE, STOCK FARMING AND ENVIRONMENT: ADAPTATION AND CHANGE DURlNG THE NEOLITHIC LAKESHORE PERIOD (4300-2400 Be CAL) IN' SWITZERLANDl
Lakeshore settlements are especially interesting to researchers dealing with questions of en vironmental change and human-environment interactions due to their very good preservation of orgamc material such as plant remains (wood, seeds and fruit remains, leaves, twigs), animal bones, antler, textiles, etc. Owing to the good preservation of wood, it is possible to date the life spans of these vi llages precisely with the help of dendrochronology. In Switzerland, lakeshore settlements can be found from the Neolithic Period (between 4300 and 2400 Be cal) and again during the Bronze Age (between 1900 to 1500 and 1050-850 BC cal). The Neolithic Period is divided into three phases: - upper (younger) Neolithic (4300 to 3500 BC cal, Pfyn and Cortaillod cultures), - later Neolithic (3300 to 2750 BC cal, Horgen culture) and - final Neolithic (2750 to 2400 BC cal, Corded Wale culture and Bell Beaker culrure/). There is a high correlation between the fluctuations of atmospheric 14C as a proxyindicator for climatic changes and the presence or absence of lakeshore settlements- in the studied region.
fig, 1. Geographical distribution of the Neolithic lake shore sites in the northern Alpine foreland which supplied archaeozoological assemblages (after Schibler et al. 1997, 554, fig. I)
Most of the data and their interpretation inc luded in this brief review have already been published, some ellen in English. Therefore a short summary of the lecture given at the conference might be sufficient for orientation. For flirt her reading see bibliographical data in the footnotes to th is paper. 1 A. Hafner - P. J. Suter. Das Neol ithikum in de!" Schweiz. Paper in: v,rww. jUl1gsteinSITE. de, 27. 11.
pages. Witb English
- U. Ntlleler - E. Gross-Klee
Palaolithikum Neolithikum. Basel. E. Gross-Klee - C. Seeufersiedlungen.
bis ZUI11 1.995. Moise: Sonne, Vulkane und JSGU 80 (.I997) 85-94.
abstract': W £. Stockli (eds): Die Schwciz fnihen Mittelalter 11:
Frequencies of wild (black) and domestic (white) animal bones in lake shore settlements of central and eastern Switzerland between the 43rd and the 25th century cal BC The database discussed in this paper includes archaeozoological results from 138 settlement layers and archaeobotanical results of38 settlement layers+ The sites are distributed evenly over the Swiss midlands and 112 of the settlements are dated precisely with the help of dendrochronology (fig. 5). Premiers araires. The relationship between the bones of wild and domestic animals shows the overall tendency of decreasing importance for hunting during the Neolithic (fig. 2. 2). However. Indicators of various origins (atmospheric 14C. glaciation. J). Bailly (cds): Premiers chariots. This means that more meat was available in the daily diet. regardless of archaeological culture or geographical location. while the importance of domestic animal bones remains stable through time (fig. These fluctuations are caused by an apparent increase in hunting. It is very likely that neolithic farmers tried to compensate losses in cereal yields with an intensification of hunting and gathering.J. van Willigen .S. .288 RENATE EBERSBACH 2600 2700 2800 3000 3100 3200 3400 3600 3700 3800 3900 4000 4200 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% fig. 4 S Jacomet . Colloque Frasnois (in press ).P. The importance of wild animals is very high in all the villages of that time. Petrequin . Schibler: Les donnees archeobiologiques refletent el1es I' exploitation de la traction animale sur les sites neolithiques au Nord des Alpes? in: R. La traction animale en Europe au IVe millenaire avant notre ere. Arbogast . 3-4).) show a short-term climatic deterioration for the time around 3650 BC cal labelled "Piora 2" or "Rotmoos 2" cold phase. their bones varying between less than 20% and more than 80% of all identifiable bone specimens. timberline etc.M. A period with a very great importance of hunting is the 37th century BC (fig.-M. during the upper Neolithic there are great fluctuations in the importance of wild animals.
Huntley .1. 3. With extensive English summary. '" fig. On the other hand. The values represent numbers of animal bone fragments per square meter and cultural layer I settlement phase Low densities of cereal grains and threshing remains as well as high areal densities of collected wild plant remains make this interpretation even more pro babies . 61.-E. Schibler . H. Wefer W. climatic fluctuations seem to have been less extreme than before.West Europe: Climatic Implications and the Human Dimension.1.New York. .. Hiister-Plogmann C Brombacher: Economic crash in the 37th and 36th century BCcal in Neolithic Lakeshore Sites in Switzerland. ~()GO !:!'UD .. Internationale Archaologie. During the later and final Neolithic Period.S. Stapp: Late . Schibler: Holocene Paleoenvironmental Changes ltl North.H. Jacomet . Kuc . Studia honoraria (Festschrift fur Angela von den Driesch) 8 (1999) 189-200.-E.N. Belue E. Berger. Manhart .. Jacomet . Schibler .B. Importance of wild animal bones in lake shore settlements of central and eastern Switzerland between the 43rd century and the 25th century cal Be.C. Berlin Heidelberg .A. Peters ---1. Gross-Klee . Schibler (eds): Historia animalium ex ossibus. 1997. Huntley . P Harrison . Rahden.1. despite the fact that short-term climatic deteriorations still took place.S. Negendank .M Baillie= J. Luterbacher . Berlin Heidelberg . Behre . Both possibilities might be true: on the one hand. . Zurich und Egg.W.1. Koc . in: H. Jacome! .C. U. M Grove .E.E.c. Karlen . Rast-Eicher (eds): Okonomie und Okologie neolithischcr und bronzezeitlicher Seeufcrsiedlungen am Zurichsce. H.W.M. M Grove .S. P Harrison . Jansen .:. Negendank= 1. Hanse Conference on Climate History 2002. Either food shortages did not appear in such a way as during the upper Neolithic or people were able to compensate for them in another way.ceo.K. Anthropozoologica 25-26 (1997) 553570. climatic fluctuations and economic adaptations. Hammer . Marti-Gradel. Monografien der Kantonsarchaologie ZUrich 20. Archaeozoological and archaeobotanical results are indicative of the following changes between the upper Neolithic Period (4300-3500 cal BC) and the later/final Neolithic Periods (3300-2400 cal BC)6: 51.K. Hanse Conference on Climate History 2002.N. in: G.C. Jacomet . Luterbacher . Southwest Germany and Bavaria.1. .1.:::.c.S. 259 298. 2&00 STOCK FARMING AND ENVIRONMENT 289 zroo asoo ~ ~ . BergerK. Steppan: The relationship between wild animal exploitation.New York.H.AGRICULTURE. Hammer . 259-298.S.West Europe: Climatic Implications and the Human Dimension. Jansen (eds): Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm. Hiister-Plogmann . E. B. Brombacher . Wefer .. B.1.S. the fluctuations between wild and domestic animal bones have much smaller amplitude. Jansen (eds): Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm. Schibler . Hiister-Plogmann . Baillie . Schibler: Holocene Paleoenvironmental Changes in North. Karlen .E. H. the landscape had changed a lot compared to the upper Neolithic and the people had adopted their agricultural strategies and stock farming. :::s 34CO L ""b ? J7~O :!HOO ~ ±l~ 3900 ~ o::J. U.E. in: G.1. A transdisciplinary study on Neolithic sites from the Lake Zurich region.W. Jansen . .
Archaologie in Eurasien 6 (1999) 339-354. Anthropozoologica 25-26 (1997) 495-504. in: G. Ebersbach: Modeling Neolithic agriculture and stock farming at Swiss Lakeshore Settlements . Hiister-Plogmann -. in: Benecke. R. Jacomet: Archaeozoological and archaeobotanical evidence of human impact on Neolithic environments in Switzerland. Rahden.J. (ed.S. Basler Beitrage zur Ur. N.290 RENATE EBERSBACH 6 8 10 12 14 16 fig. Weniger (ed. Schibler . Modern Aspects of Research. 4. Eine Okosystemanalyse zur Bedeutung dcr Rinderhaltung in bauer lichen Gesellschaften als Grundlage zur Modellbildung im Neolithikum. Schibler= S. With extensive English summary.): The Holocene history of the European vertebrate fauna.Evidence from historical and ethnographical data.): Archaologie und Biologie des Auerochsen. The values represent numbers of animal bone fragments per square meter and cultural layer / settlement phase Neolithic economy at lakeside settlements in Western Switzerland.K.J. Archaeofauna 8 (1999) 115122: R. Steppan: Human impact on the habitat of large herbivores in Eastern Switzerland and Southwest Germany in the Neolithic. Basel. Proceedings ofthe 71h ICAZ Conference. Schibler . Archaeofauna 8 (1999) 87-99: I-/. Jacomet: The significance of aurochs as hunted animal in the Swiss Neolithic. . Importance of domestic animal bones in lake shore settlements of central and eastern Switzerland between the 43rd century and the 25th century cal Be.und Fruhgeschichte 15. 1. Ebersbach: Von Bauern und Rindern. .-C.2002. Konstanz. Wissenschaftliche Schriften des NeanderthalMuseums I (1999) 151-160.
e.irich Seefeld. 12). cultivation on less favourable soils than before ~ Larger villages with longer duration of occupation ~ Euthropic lakeshores with the first spread of reed belts The typical field system of the late and final periods of the Neolithic may have been an alternating system of crop cultivation and grazed short fallows. 44. led to a gradual opening of the landscape and mineralization of the lakes. Auvernier Port. I. BC in the Alpine foreland (after Schibler et at. Koninger als Zugtiere Schleife. (1997) 57-61. perhaps even since the Horgen culture.J.und Wildtiernutzung jungsleinzeitlichen Kantons Thurgau. which led to an increasing diversity of ecosystems. (eds): 103-1 OS. Zi. Schibler: Haus. 566. nordlich Siedlungen Zur in: 3 der Alpen. Frage (2002) 1. 5. i.irich Mozartstrasse. such as barley and spelt wheat. 49. J-J.AGRICULTURE. F euchrbodensiedlungen Archaologie Hinweise der Schweiz zur Nutzung in den des 20-21 von Rindern Schweiz. The transformation of the natural environment 7. 34th century BC7 ~ Better techniques of animal keeping. Hiister-Plogmann: archaozoologische Fruheste Hemmenhofener . Steckborn Schanz. 154. Frequencies of wild animal bones (black) and domestic animal bones (white) in settlements from the second half of the 37th century and the 36th centuries cal. STOCK FARMING AND ENVIRONMENT 291 fig. Different types of open land developed. such as hare and roe deer) ~ First indications of grazing the open land since the late Horgen and especially Corded Ware cultures (seeds and fruit remains from tread-resistant vegetation) ~ Higher densities of domestic animal species (Horgen culture: intensification of pig husbandry. Zi. higher densities of mammals typical for open landscapes. 1997. Clairvaux Motte aux Magnins. Corded Ware culture: more cattle and more sheep/goat herding) ~ Diversification of stock keeping (first oxen in the Corded Ware culture. such as cultivation and grazing. perhaps even in the Horgen culture. Skripte der 1 Rad und Wagen. in neolithischen Schlitten. fig. 10. Human and animal activity. probably better strategies tor overwintering (sudden increase in stature and frame of cattle and sheep/goat during the Corded Ware culture) ~ Intensification of summer crops such as poppy and flax since the Horgen culture allows a better distribution of labour over the year ~ Intensified cultivation of less demanding crops. 7. 164. Twann Bahnhof. fruher Transportmittel et al. woolly sheep since the Corded Ware culture) ~ Use of traction power evidenced by finds of wheels and possible ploughs since the Corded Ware culture. Yverdon Garage Martin ~ Gradual opening of the landscape (lower percentages of forest species among seed and weed remains and fewer woodland bird species.
transformed environment by developing new agricultural techniques and herding strategies (cf. its agriculture and stock keeping strategies were all the more innovative and adaptable. Whilst the pottery style of the Horgen culture may not look very sophisticated. as is shown by the example of the Horgen culture.292 RENATE EBERSBACH into a cultural landscape started during the Neolithic Period. . Neolithic farmers adapted to the new. but they have also developed within one cultural sequence. more open land> higher densities of cattle). New techniques and perhaps even new forms of domestic animals and plants have been introduced at the beginning of a new archaeological culture (cf. Corded Ware cult-ure: woolly sheep).
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