Title

Iron Age vegetation dynamics and human impacts on the vegetation of upper Mun Valley floodplain, N.E. Thailand

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Boyd, WE & McGrath, RJ 2001, 'Iron Age vegetation dynamics and human impacts on the vegetation of upper Mun Valley floodplain, N.E. Thailand', New Zealand Geographer, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 20-32. Publisher version of article availble at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7939.2001.tb01606

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Here we present a revised interpretation of pollen analyses at Iron Age archaeological sites on the floodplain of the Mun River, northeast Thailand. Following publication of a full chronometric data set for these sites, it has become apparent that the original and admittedly tentative conclusions from the pollen analyses require reassessment. The original account was flawed in two ways: the presumed time span of the record was considerably longer than we believe it to be now; and our correlation between neighbouring sequences was in error. Our new understanding of the evidence allows us to present a vegetation history of the study area that is confined to the details of land use and human impact during the latter half of the Thai Iron Age. Here we also are able to identify ecological groups and landscape partitioning patterns during that period. In particular, we record phases of human impact, with periods of forest clearance and its replacement by grasslands with likely rice cultivation and arboriculture.