DNA analyzes show that gradual climate change can cause an impact on the environment and vegetation, and the real extent of the phenomenon will not be expected for future generations.
One of the key elements of man’s existence on earth and the prerequisites for the survival of the species for thousands of years has been the weather conditions and the general climate of the environment in which he lives. And ancient times also experienced climate changes, but recent research shows that these occurred gradually, allowing organisms to adapt in the meantime.
Archaeologists were able to advance and publish such claims after analyzing several animal bones and seeds discovered within Roman sites. These sites date back to the Bronze Age, and through research, the teams discovered what the hunters hunted and what the farmers cultivated.
What did the farmers grow and what did the hunters hunt?
In total, around 65 pollen species and 20 spore species were discovered by scientists, who aimed to identify vegetation from the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age – between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago) .
Several scientists mobilized and began to start research near the Stonehenge monument (in Wiltshire, UK). They focused on several areas where traces of human activity, almost 10,000 years old, were reported.
Using DNA taken from the layers of material harvested here, the researchers were able to find out exactly which species of plants and trees were growing in the surroundings. And their results, combined with the analysis of bones and other tissue samples, provided essential information about the climate and vegetation that developed along the prehistoric River Avon.
Among these discoveries are the traces of the bour, a species of prehistoric cattle, from which they could feed, at a huge feast, around 200 people, notes The Guardian.
How was vegetation degraded thousands of years ago?
In addition, the authors of the research also concluded that the presence of willow, followed a few thousand years later by species such as apple, rose, ivy or European hornbeam, indicates that at that time the forests were not very rich. And the plants that appeared later (including nettles, thistles and plants of the species Convolvulus) prove that the vegetation gradually dried up, thus leaving the space free for the currently existing meadow.
On the same note, it seems the bush population has also declined. And once the plain emerged, the herbivores (such as elk or deer) were quick to appear, as they were attracted to the green grass. Such an environment became favorable for hunters from 6,000 BC.
What is worrying now is that, compared to the drastic climate changes our children will experience, it appears that human ancestors had time to adapt to the changes.