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Stones Forum >> Farming in the forest, Ecology and economy of fire in prehistoric agriculture, July 2012, Germany
||Farming in the forest, Ecology and economy of fire in prehistoric agriculture, July 2012, Germany
from Surrey, UK
| Posted 06-01-2012 at 23:23  |
Farming in the forest, Ecology and economy of fire in prehistoric agriculture
3rd International Schöntal Conference
11-15 July 2012, Kloster Schöntal, Germany
The use of fire has been discussed as a means of forest clearance since the early
years of research on the European Neolithic. The technique of slash-and-burn had
been postulated by J. Iversen as initial phase in his “Landnam” model, also for
Neolithic Britain the frequent use of fire for forest clearing and cultivation has been
In 1965 E. Boserup described extensive swidden cultivation that
was practised in tropical rain forest areas around the world. In Central Europe the
idea of Neolithic swidden cultivation had been refuted in the later 1970s, based on
the evidence of continuous settlement patterns in the early Neolithic (5500-4900
BC). Recent interdisciplinary research in the area of Lake Constance, however, has
raised again the question of Neolithic swidden agriculture. Since 1998 the
Forchtenberg Long Term Experiment has been exploring the economic potential of a
fire-based extensive cultivation and its impact on the natural environment.
Objectives of the Conference
The 3rd Schöntal Symposium seeks to bring together archaeologists, soil scientists,
palaeobotanists, archaeozoologists, historians and geographers interested in pre-
industrial agriculture. Different modes of cultivation, ranging from horticulture to
forest fallow systems, including the regular use of fire might be discussed in terms
of their economic potential and environmental impact. Related topics are the (still
widely unexplored) “archaeology of manure”, the interdependence between
cultivation practices and spatial / temporal settlement patterns as well as livestock
We equally welcome lectures and posters on charcoal and black carbon in soils,
vegetation recovering after fire and historical/ethnographical evidence for fire-
For more details please visit our website at:
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