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The Pleistocene to Holocene Transition and Human Economy in Southwest Asia: The Impact of the Younger Dryas

A. M. T. Moore and G. C. Hillman
American Antiquity
Vol. 57, No. 3 (Jul., 1992), pp. 482-494
DOI: 10.2307/280936
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/280936
Page Count: 13
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The Pleistocene to Holocene Transition and Human Economy in Southwest Asia: The Impact of the Younger Dryas
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Abstract

We present new evidence suggesting that the Late Glacial worldwide episode of cooling known as the Younger Dryas (ca. 11,000-10,000 B.P.) had a significant impact on climate, vegetation, and human economy in southwest Asia. In the Levant a new pollen core extracted from Lake Huleh and plant remains from the early village of Abu Hureyra 1 indicate that forest gave way to steppe in response to the onset of drier climatic conditions contemporary with the Younger Dryas. Similar effects may be seen in pollen cores from elsewhere in southwest Asia. This alteration in climate and vegetation obliged the inhabitants of Abu Hureyra to modify their plant gathering, and led to significant disruptions in culture and settlement over a wide area. We argue that the stresses induced by these events were a contributing factor in the subsequent development of agriculture in southwest Asia.

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