UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Testing the 'Laacher See hypothesis': a health hazard perspective

Riede, F.; Bazely, O.; (2009) Testing the 'Laacher See hypothesis': a health hazard perspective. Journal of Archaeological Science , 36 (3) pp. 675-683. 10.1016/j.jas.2008.10.013. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
115Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Table 1) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
32Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Table 2) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
27Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Table 3) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
58Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 1) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
1336Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 2) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
637Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 3) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
130Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 4) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
886Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 5) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
50Kb
[img]
Preview
PDF (Figure 6) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
720Kb

Abstract

It has recently been suggested that the Laacher See volcanic eruption, which occurred around 13,000 years ago, initiated significant demographic fluctuations along the northern periphery of Late Glacial human settlement and that these led to a number of material culture transformations. The origins of the Southern Scandinavian Bromme culture and the northeastern European Perstunian culture as well as the temporary abandonment of Central European regions have been linked to this eruption. However, it remains unclear precisely which aspects of the eruption stimulated Late Glacial foragers to abandon their traditional ways of life. Paradoxically, the culture–historical impact of the eruption appears greater further away from the eruptive centre. Here, we investigate one potential middle-range link between the Laacher See eruption and Late Glacial fauna and foragers: tephra as a health hazard. We use laser-diffraction particle-size analysis to quantitatively investigate tephra from one site with a secure Late Glacial archaeological deposit. In addition, we use values previously reported in the literature and a predictive model to calculate the hazard potential along a transect of two of the three major Laacher See tephra fans. Our results show that the Laacher See tephra may have posed a potential health hazard and that its hazard potential may have increased with distance from the vent. To our knowledge this is the only study that attempts to quantify the changing grain-size composition of tephra fall-out longitudinally in this way, at least with regard to a prehistoric eruption. We close by discussing, more speculatively, other possible health-pertinent effects of the Laacher See eruption and suggest ways in which future work can further evaluate the impact of this eruption on Late Glacial populations.

Type:Article
Title:Testing the 'Laacher See hypothesis': a health hazard perspective
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2008.10.013
Publisher version:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2008.10.013
Language:English
Keywords:Late Glacial, Laacher See eruption, volcanic health hazard, large tanged point cultures, grain-size analysis
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

View download statistics for this item

Archive Staff Only: edit this record