Study of climate, society and environment interactions in a NE Iberian Peninsula basin during the Holocene based on palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data integration

Future scenarios suggest that climatic and land-use changes will have a strong influence both on the natural environment and on human societies. In the context of this, the long-term study of past human-environment interactions is regarded as one of prime importance to understanding and modelling possible future environmental and social change.

Nowadays, the complexity of socio-environmental interactions, which are characterised by synergistic, multi-causal relationships, is acknowledged. This is of particular concern in Mediterranean areas where environmental and socio-economic systems are highly sensitive to fluctuations in water availability and to natural risk phenomena. Moreover, models need to take into account that, in Mediterranean areas, these changes take place on historically anthropised settings in which cultural factors play an important role in human choices.

The InterAmbAr coordinated project aims to study climatic change and human interactions during the Holocene in a Mediterranean area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. The project adopts a catchment-scale approach (both as an environmental and social unit) Incorporating the high resolution analysis of small-scale study areas distributed along an altitudinal transect covering both high mountain (2800 m) and coastal zones. This new spatial approach is essential to understanding socio-environmental interactions because it allows the local-regional nature of environmental change to be reconstructed, and the synergies between catchment-based systems, hydro-sedimentary regimes, human mobility, land uses, human-environments (cultural landscapes) formation, demography, etc. to be assessed. The project methodology is based on a multidisciplinary approach involving the integration of environmental, archaeological and historical data. In each study area a range of environmental proxies from lacustrine environments or peat bogs will be analysed (sedimentology, geochemistry, pollen, charcoal, diatoms, crustaceans, etc.) (subproject I). These palaeoenvironmental data will be integrated with archaeological and historical data obtained by historical research, archaeomorphology, intensive survey, excavation, dating and SIG analyses (subproject ll). The project aim is not only to study palaeoenvironmental proxies from peat bog and lake sequences but also to understand past environment - society interactions and how they can contribute to proposed environmental change scenarios. This aspect represents an original approach which will make a valuable contribution to answering key research questions proposed by diverse international programs and organizations.

  • Ramon Julia, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, Project Leader
  • M. Graciela Monzón Gutiérrez, ICTJA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Santiago Riera Mora, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Mª Angeles Marques Roca, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Jean Marion Redd, The University of Hull, UK
  • Ana Ejarque Montolio,  Institut Catalá d'Arqueologia Clàssica, Spain
  • Philippe Allée,  Université Blaise Pascal-Maison des Sciences de l'Home, UBPN-CNRS, France
  • Yannick Miras,  Université Blaise Pascal-Maison des Sciences de l'Home, UBPN-CNRS, France
  • Pere Mascareñas i Rubiés, Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain
  • Gloria Furdada Bellavista, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain
  • Gabriel Angel Servera Vives, Facultad de Filosofia y Letras, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • Llorenc Picornell, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Jordi Nadal Lorenzo, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Francesc Mezquita Juanes, Universidad de Valencia, Spain
  • Silvia Valenzuela Lamas, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Javier Armengol Diaz, Universidad de  Valencia, Spain
  • Andrés Curras Dominguez, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Luis Lloveras Roca, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain


  • Project Leader: Ramon Julia

  • Years: 2012-2014

  • Funding

    Project Financed by PNIDI CGL - CGL2009-12676-CO2-01


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