Monday, December 29, 2014

Prehistoric exploitation of Grevena highland zones: hunters and herders along the Pindus chain of western Macedonia (Greece)

(pdf Link)


The surveys and excavations carried out in the highland zone of the Grevena Pindus Mountains have revealed that the watershed that separates western Macedonia from Epirus was (seasonally)inhabited in different prehistoric times, from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age. The highest concentration of ‘sites’ is known from the surroundings of the modern village of Samarina, which is rich in good-quality chert raw material outcrops. This territory is still nowadays heavily exploited by Vlach shepherds who seasonally carry out pastoral activities, moving their flocks from the eastern lowlands up to the high-altitude pastures. The excavations carried out at three different sites, all lying on a flysch substratum, revealed the presence of a redeposited lower sediment, characterized by a polygonal soil caused by ground freezing that was later effected by erosion canals produced by human interference in the landscape. The results so far obtained from a few charcoal radiocarbondates indicate that this fact took place in at least three different periods from the middle Bronze Age to the seventh century AD.

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