image/svg+xml71 IX/1/2018 InterdIscIplInarIa archaeologIca natural scIences In archaeology homepage: Large Scale Geochemical Signatures Enable to Determine Landscape Use in the Deserted Medieval Villages Martin Janovský a,b,* , Jan Horák a,b a Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Celetná 20, Prague 1, 116 36, Czech Republic b Department of Ecology, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, Praha – Suchdol, 165 00, Czech Republic 1. Introduction When studying deserted medieval villages, some light needs to be shed on the relation between human activity and natural environment. Thus the demand on the agricultural production at that time needs to be contrasted with general dispositions of the natural conditions on the sites, as their disparities may have led to the collapse of these settlements. The geochemical methods used in soil surveys can provide some means to gain information on both the human impact and natural conditions.Soils on archaeological sites can be studied in many ways: macroscopically (Kristiansen, 2001), micromorphologically (Bullock et al ., 1985; Lisá et al ., 2015) and geochemically. Some studies are focused on using Phosphorus (Holliday, Gartner, 2007) and there are also studies on using multi-element analysis. These studies are mostly focused on the diferentiation among archaeological features (houses, felds, hearths etc.), on the verifcation of human activities, and on analysing the spatial distribution of these activities (Davidson et al ., 2007; Nielsen, Kristiansen, 2014; Roos, Nolan, 2012; Wilson et al ., 2009). The topic of the spatial extent of activities ( e.g. manuring) or land use types (arable feld, pastures, meadows, gardens) has also been studied (Entwistle et al ., 1998; 2000). In this study, we try to combine the procedures mentioned above to identify the soil environment at the selected site within the context of a chemical refection of individual parts of the village. However, we mainly focus on multi-element analysis. Volume IX ● Issue 1/2018 ● Pages 71–80 *Corresponding author. E-mail: ARtiCLE inFo Article history Received: 2 nd June 2017Accepted: 21 st February 2018 DOI: 10.24916/iansa.2018.1.5 Key words: anthropocenehistoric land-usepast human impactmulti-element analysis feld pattern principal component analysis AbStRACt Medieval settlement activities lead to the enrichment of nutrients in archaeological soils. The fundamental question we ask is whether large-scale mapping of soil horizons can be used to interpret former medieval activities. A portable X-ray fuorescence spectrometer (pXRF) was used to map the content of elements in soils over an area of 104.4 ha at the deserted medieval village of Hol, Czech Republic. Our methods were used to defne diferences in the geochemical composition of the soil in diferent parts of the village’s residential and feld area (as a quantitative part of the research). Additionally we tried to interpret the results in terms of the variability of the natural environment and the medieval village ( i.e. a more qualitative interpretational part of the research). Results of XRF spectrometry showed notable diferences in element soil composition in diferent parts of the village. The presence of very low soil P content is probably caused by inefective manuring practices in combination with the short duration of the agricultural cultivation. Nevertheless, soil P content helped us to interpret an area of gardens in homesteads IX, X and XI, where the presence of wooden constructions for agricultural purposes is presumed. Agricultural management at the deserted medieval village Hol was connected with organic waste and ash from homesteads (P, Sr, Zn, probably Mn). The spatial distribution of the soil content of elements and PCA allows us to claim that we can diferentiate the functional parts of the village based on geochemical methods. At the site of the village we documented deteriorated natural conditions (pedological): for example, the underground water level and eluvial horizons. These conditions could have already been afecting the medieval village Hol. The deserted medieval village Hol does not difer from other deserted medieval villages, where a similar low agricultural fertility is assumed (for example, Kří).
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2018 ● IX/1 ● 71–80 Martin Janovský, Jan Horák: Large Scale Geochemical Signatures Enable to Determine Landscape Use in the Deserted Medieval Villages 72 Our research is focused on the deserted medieval village of Hol. This output is part of a series of projects focused on the medieval settlement and its transition into the modern era (summary by Klír, 2010a; 2010b). Thematically, it belongs to the interest of European archaeology in the Medieval-Modern era transition and the processes of social structure development, regional diversity, and economic history (for more comprehensive information, see Klápště, 2016). In this study, the geochemical compound of soils in the residential and ploughed area of Hol will be described and interpreted. As the results correspond to the concept of Late Medieval Transition (14 th – 15 th century), the site could be matched to similar localities dating back to between the fourteenth to sixteenth century (Campbell, 2016). 2. Materials and Methods2.1 Site description The deserted medieval village of Hol is located in the Czech Republic, ten kilometres east of Prague (Figure 1). Apparently, the patricians of the Rokycanští clan founded it in the 1330s or 1340s (Klír, 2016, p. 47). Information from written records, confrmed through an archaeological excavation at the site, give the oldest local pottery as coming from the 14 th century (Beránek 2013, pp. 30–40). However, already in 1437, written records described the village of Hol as deserted. The village centre coordinates are GPS N 50°5.16977′, E 14°41.84880′. The Horoušánský stream, fowing from west to east, divides the village in half. The village is 14 hectares in area (Beránek, 2011, p. 93). Generally, its former borders may have been shaped by the embankments of the two no-longer- existing ponds of Hol (from the east) and Žák (from the west). The deserted medieval village of Hol is a research locality monitored by the Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University (see Klír, 2016). Its relics have been endangered due to its current forest management and therefore a geodetical survey of the research locality was undertaken and evaluated (Beránek, 2010; 2011; 2013; Janovský, 2015; Klír, Beránek, 2012; Klír, 2013a; Klír, 2013b). Three new clearings were made between 2013 and 2014, and as a result the relics of the village have been mostly destroyed in this area, which only confrms the threat to the locality. These clearings made a geochemical analysis of the feld in the northern half of the village virtually impossible.The relics of buildings are clearly identifable, whether they were residential, or farm constructions, as well as walls,