Vegetation History & Archaeobotany vol:17 issue:2 pages:223-231
Wood charcoal analysis from Kovacevo in southwest Bulgaria, one of the earliest Neolithic sites in southeastern Europe, provided information about the first stages of anthropogenic impact on vegetation during the Early Neolithic (6159–5630 cal b.c.). Deciduous oak was the most abundant and frequently used taxon in the wood charcoal assemblages. Cornus charcoal was also abundant, probably connected with the use of its twigs as building material in wattle and daub structures. The dominant deciduous oak forest was opened during the Kovacevo I period, as shown by evidence from the Kovacevo Ia and Kovacevo Ib occupation phases. Other types of vegetation, like Black pine (Pinus nigra) woodland, riverine forests and some sub-Mediterranean elements, were used only sporadically, indicating high and sustained availability of wood resources in the oak forests. Anthropogenic impacts were gradual, a pattern that matches contemporary studies elsewhere in the region.