Kargaly (Orenburg, Russia) is a copper-producing region in which two main phases of mining activity have taken place: the 4 th-2 nd millennia BC and the 18 th-20 th centuries AD. This article is a comparative study on the impact of those mining episodes in the distribution of the forest resources in the region, aimed to estimate the scale of prehistoric mining and metallurgical works. For that purpose two paleopalinological sequences obtained from natural deposits located in Kargaly are analysed by inferential Statistics and Multivariate Methods. The results are compared both with a regional sampling of recent pollen rain supported by an analytical model of the present day landscape, and with the anthracological data coming from the Late Bronze Age settlement of Gorny 1. Analysis confirm the large scale of the prehistoric mining impact on the forest cover from the beginnings, as well as the strong effect of husbandry once mining works ended. These results allow us to dismiss a climatic change as main explanation for the detected diachronic variability in the palinological record. They also prove the viability of the proposed approach as a means of integrating the paleoenvironmental disciplines in Landscape Archaeology.
García, J. M. V., Isabel Martínez Navarrete, M., Sáez, J. A. L., & de Zavala Morencos, I. (2010). Impacto medioambiental de la minería y la metalurgia del cobre durante la edad del bronce en kargaly (región de Orenburgo, Rusia). Trabajos de Prehistoria, 67(2), 511–544. https://doi.org/10.3989/tp.2010.10054