Use of space and site formation processes in a Neolithic lakeside settlement. Pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs spatial analysis in La Draga (Banyoles, NE Iberia)

Publication date: May 2017Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 81
Author(s): J. Revelles, F. Burjachs, N. Morera, J.A. Barceló, A. Berrocal, O. López-Bultó, C. Maicher, M. Le Bailly, R. Piqué, A. Palomo, X. Terradas
Several taphonomic factors influence the composition of the palynological record especially in archaeological deposits, where human activities alter the representation of taxa. Spatial analysis by a taphonomic approach to the distribution of pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP) provides useful information about intra-site spaces and environments in the Early Neolithic lakeside settlement of La Draga (Banyoles, NE Iberia). The spatial correlation of algae, lakeshore and aquatic plants and herbs with an economic value, together with eggs of intestinal parasites and spores of coprophilous fungi, evidence a humid and organic environment beneath a hut, where consumption waste is concentrated. In contrast, high values of arboreal pollen (AP) and spores of fungal indicators of soil erosion show a sub-aerial environment strongly altered by taphonomic processes in outside areas. Finally, the association of the highest values in Cerealia-t and the spatial distribution of grinding stones within Sector D identifies an area of cereal processing, proving the suitability of spatial analysis in archaeopalynology as a powerful tool for reconstructing activity areas within archaeological settlements.