Historia paleoambiental de la sierra de Gredos (Sistema Central español, Ávila) en época visigodaincidencia de la plaga de Justiniano (541-543 a. D.)

  1. María de los Reyes Luelmo Lautenschlaeger
  2. Adam Izdebski
  3. Antonio Blanco González
  4. Sebastián Pérez Díaz
  5. José Antonio López Sáez
Arqueología Iberoamericana

ISSN: 1989-4104

Year of publication: 2021

Year: 13

Issue: 47

Pages: 78-90

Type: Article

DOI: 10.5281/ZENODO.4558650 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

More publications in: Arqueología Iberoamericana


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  • Year 2021
  • SJR Journal Impact: 0.268
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  • Area: Archeology (arts and humanities) Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 107/353
  • Area: Archeology Quartile: Q2 Rank in area: 105/315

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  • Year 2021
  • Journal Impact: 0.450
  • Field: HISTORIA Quartile: C1 Rank in field: 21/300
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  • Field: ESTUDIOS SOBRE AMÉRICA LATINA Quartile: C1 Rank in field: 4/25


  • Social Sciences: A
  • Human Sciences: A

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  • Year 2021
  • CiteScore of the Journal : 1.3
  • Area: Archeology (arts and humanities) Percentile: 75
  • Area: Archeology Percentile: 72

Journal Citation Indicator (JCI)

  • Year 2021
  • Journal Citation Indicator (JCI): 0.4
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  • Area: ARCHAEOLOGY Quartile: Q3 Rank in area: 92/156


This paper evaluates the possible impact of the early medieval pandemic known as the “Justinianic plague” as one of the factors that shaped the mountain ecosystems in the Spanish Central System of the Iberian Peninsula. For this purpose, we focus on two high-resolution, radiocarbon-dated natural pollen records from the Gredos Range (Avila). These cores frame the information they offer within the general picture of the socio-political and environmental transformations of Late Antiquity. Along these three centuries, between c. AD 400 and AD 720, the palynological sequence allows us to recognize eight short phases (on a ten-year and even five-year scale) through which the forest formations traversed. This analysis has made it possible to identify olive and chestnut tree arboriculture since the beginning of the studied interval, as well as to characterize the fluctuation in the thinning processes of the high montane pine forests, due to slash-and-burn practices to open pastures, especially from the permanent occupation of the piedmont in Visigothic times (c. AD 450). The sequence also shows a significant decrease in the anthropic signal during a short period (c. AD 540-545) that can be disassociated from the early effects of the Late Antique Little Ice Age (c. AD 450- 660) and which is possibly more related to the plague, as evidenced by the subsequent recovery of anthropic pressure on the pine forest and the extension of the olive and chestnut grove in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.

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