From the ancient uses of wood to the restitution of environmental hazards: a dendrochronological approach.

Human societies have always used wood, within complex interaction with their forest environment. My research project is to identify the nature, intensity and temporal variations of the impacts of logging on the forest resource, in the Southern French Alps, and its relationships with climate framework. For this purpose, I use and develop methods of dendrochronology applied to living trees, dead and subfossil woods, and woods used by human populations (“archaeological woods”), over the last two millennia. Coupled with archaeological, historical, ecological and chemical data, this approach will help to describe the history of wood exploitation; reconstruct exchanges between different environments; and identify climatic, ecologic and human hazards within tree-ring series. For example, socio-environmental stress can be identified by means of the frequency of tree felling and abrupt growth changes identified in certain rings’ series. In return, changes in wood use (species and dimensions of beams) are one of the responses of human populations to these stresses.
A dendro-archaeological laboratory will be set up in Kiel university and we will develop new research methods applied to archaeological woods and other environmental archives (such as sediments) to understand the relationship between humans and the environment.

La Chau hamlet (Cervières city), in the Southern French Alps, 1900 m above sea level.

Project by Lisa Shindo

This project is a cooperation with: Pawel Cembrzyński, Marta Dal Corso, Walter Doerfler, Ingo Feeser, John Meadows and Clemens von Scheffer (Kiel University); Alain Badie, Frédéric Guibal, Frédéric Guiter, Delphine Isoardi, Cécile Miramont, Florence Mocci and Brigitte Talon (CNRS, France); Kevin Walsh (University of York); Myette Guiomar (Geological Reserve of Haute-Provence, France); Richard Bonnet (Ecrins National Parc, France); Bruno Ancel, Vincent Buccio, Renaud Chastagnaret, Sadrine Claude and Franck Suméra (several French public archaeological services).


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