Skip to comments.Emergence Of A New Picture Of The Maltese Holocene Environment
Posted on 04/07/2007 4:03:52 PM PDT by blam
Emergence of a new picture of the Maltese holocene environment
A new picture of the Maltese holocene environment is emerging through
Katrin Fenechs recent Ph.D. thesis entitled Human-induced changes in the environment and landscape of the Maltese Islands from the Neolithic to the 15th century AD, as inferred from a scientific study of sediments from Marsa, Malta.
The thesis investigates current theories through scientific analyses of sediment. For this purpose, an 11.2m long sediment core was retrieved from the Marsa Sports Ground, with the help of a mechanical corer, in June 2002, financed by Linda Eneix of the OTS Foundation.
The core was then split into two halves for chemical, physical and biological analyses, jointly undertaken by Katrin Fenech and Frank Carroll, as part of a larger study on the palaeo-environment of the Maltese islands and the role of humans in bringing about environmental change being undertaken by the Department of Classics and Archaeology and the Department of Biology of the University of Malta under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Bonanno, and Prof. Patrick J. Schembri, and Queens University, Belfast, under the supervision of Dr Chris O. Hunt.
This type of inter-disciplinary approach is novel to the study of the Maltese environment. The classical approach to research on past Maltese cultures has been based mainly on the study of material remains such as pottery and architectural features.
The extent of human interactions, actions and reactions vis-à-vis the environment and landscape needed to be assessed on the basis of scientific data rather than received wisdom. Through the scientific study of sediments and their components, valuable additional information about human interactions with the Maltese environment and their responses to natural and anthropogenic changes could be gained.
Katrin Fenechs thesis aimed to reconstruct the holocene environment of the Maltese islands through the scientific study of sediments from Marsa, and highlighted the contributions such an inter-disciplinary study can make to archaeology, while also pointing out any limitations.
Results from the study indicate, among others, that the Maltese islands were probably never as densely forested as other Mediterranean sites in the early and middle holocene. No evidence was found for any slash-and-burn the prehistoric people are said to have resorted to for the creation of agricultural land.
Thus, the results suggest that the prehistoric people probably did not cause any irreparable harm to the environment.
Interestingly, the Phoenician/Punic people appeared to have been agriculturally more efficient in taking advantage of the resources than the subsequent Roman people. Results from sedimentological investigations indicate that the biggest changes in the environment until the 15th century AD were mainly due to natural causes like, for example, significant changes in the rainfall regime and tectonic movements, with anthropogenic ones playing a secondary role.
It is hoped that the thesis and the data presented together with its interpretation and implications will be considered in future research and open a debate that sparks off further research.
And further and never ending grant money for these commie professors who can't cut it in the real world.
My guess is you couldn’t get a PhD with a thesis on anything but human caused global warming.
Humans can certainly alter the climate. For example, back when everthing was sustainable and organic, plains Indians used to set the prarie on fire to drive the game to the killing grounds. Setting fire to half of what is now Kansas would almost certainly slightly alter the weather for a few days, just as when our own Department of the Interior set fire to most of Yellowstone Park a few years ago.
But slightly altering the weather for a few days is not altering the climate.
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They must have found the falcon and scraped off the black enamel!
Uh... Aren’t we in the Holocene?
The Holocene epoch ('Recent Whole') is a geological period that extends from the present day back to about 10,000 radiocarbon years, approximately 11,430 Â± 130 calendar years BP (between 9560 and 9300 BC). The Holocene is the fourth and last epoch of the Neogene period (second epoch of the unofficial Quaternary sub-era).
Its name comes from the Greek words ὅλος ("holos") which means whole or entire and καινή ("kai-ne") which means new or recent. It has also been called the "Alluvium Epoch".
It has been assigned to MIS 1, which is an interglacial. The next glacial is yet to occur.
(Right after the interstadial - Global Warming - period we're presently experiencing)
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