Vertical mobility in the Swiss Alps. The alpine pass Schnidejoch and indications of early pastoralism.

Hafner, Albert; Schwörer, Christoph (4 September 2015). Vertical mobility in the Swiss Alps. The alpine pass Schnidejoch and indications of early pastoralism. (Unpublished). In: EAA Annual meeting, Glasgow, Friday, Session AM6: Casting a glance over the mountains: Archaeological and biogeochemical approaches to the understanding of vertical mobility. Glasgow. 03.-05.09.2015.

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Since 2003 a melting ice field on the Schnidejoch pass (2756 a.s.l) delivered several hundred objects from the Neolithic, the Bronze and Iron Age as well as from Roman and Early Medieval times. The oldest finds date to the beginning 5th millennium BC, the youngest ones date around 1000 AD. Most of the objects stem from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age and are of organic origin. A series of more than 70 radiocarbon dates confirms that the Schnidejoch pass, linking the Bernese Highlands with the River Rhone valley, was in use at least from 4800–4500 BC on. The accessibility of the pass was easy when the glaciers descending from the nearby Wildhorn mountain range (peak on 3248 a.s.l) were in a retreating phase. In contrary glacier advances closed the way to the pass. In 2010 a palaeoecological study of sediment cores researched nearby Lake Iffig (2065 m a.s.l.). The results show clear indications of early human impact in this alpine area. Linking archaeological finds from Schnidejoch pass and River Rhone valley with the palaeoecological data can be interpreted as early indications of alpine pastoralism and transhumance. The combined archaeological and paleoecolical research allows to explain vertical mobility in the Swiss Alps.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Palaeoecology
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Hafner, Albert and Schwörer, Christoph

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Albert Hafner-Lafitte

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2015 11:34

Last Modified:

21 Oct 2015 09:31

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/72128

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