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Human responses to early Holocene climate variability in eastern Fennoscandia

Manninen, Mikael A., Tallavaara, Miikka, Seppä, Heikki
Quaternary international 2018 v.465 pp. 287-297
climate, climate change, coasts, human population, humans, Finland, Scandinavia
In eastern Fennoscandia numerous biological and physical proxy records provide ample evidence of Holocene climate-environment dynamics. The region therefore has great promise for studies concentrating on the impacts of past climate change on human populations in the early Holocene, that is, in the period that saw the beginning of postglacial human dispersal into the area.Here we provide a brief overview of the high and low frequency climate changes indicated by different proxy records in Finland and nearby areas in eastern Fennoscandia, and discuss the archaeological evidence for human responses to abrupt climate-related environmental change and low-frequency climate trends. The clearest archaeologically visible event-like responses seem to derive from ecotonal regions, i.e., the forest–tundra or coastal regions and suggest a correlation between ecological “hinge-regions” and the archaeologically clearest signs of hunter-gatherer responses to climate stress. However, the evidence of the abrupt climate events is often ambiguous and their influence on early Holocene human populations remains equivocal.