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Neolithic woodland management practices at Gueldaman Cave 1 (Algeria). Plant evidence for fuel and fodder.
Yolanda Carrión Marco  1@  , Guillem Pérez Jordà, Farid Kherbouche, Leonor Peña-Chocarro, Slimane Hachi@
1 : PREMEDOC- GIUV2015-213. Universitat de València, Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia i Història Antiga
Av. Blasco Ibañez 28, 46010 València, Spain, Av. Blasco Ibañez 28, 46010 València. -  Espagne

Gueldaman Cave 1 (Algeria) presents a wide sequence from Iberomaurusian to Late Neolithic (Kherbouchet et al., 2014), including moments of major changes in landscapes. Analyses of plant remains (wood and seeds/fruits) show a shift in vegetation from last hunter-gatherers to first farmers' levels: a Late Glacial phase of plant colonization with Cupressaceae formations, which are gradually integrating some elements of sclerophyllous vegetation, such as several species of Pistacia; then, Neolithic levels showing Olea europaea formations dominating the spectra. These changes must be reassessed as climatic response of vegetation to the final deglaciation process, and to a particular woodland management, including fodder provisioning, as the cave was used as animal penning.

The hypothesis of massive use of Olea europaea for animal feeding has been contrasted by a microscopic study of the ovicaprine coprolites. Identification of Monocotyledon species and Olea leaves in these coprolites shows the species mainly used as fodder. The presence of different parts of Olea (wood and olive stones) points to the input of the entire branches to the cave, then using them for fire. The presence of others sclerophyllous species is also investigated.


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