Transhumance dynamics in the Gredos Range (central Spain) during the last two millennia
This chapter reviews the palaeoenvironmental evidence available from the Gredos Range for the last two millennia and compares it with relevant historical and archaeological data. It aims to integrate the history of climatic and environmental change with the socio-economic, political and cultural developments that took place in this part of central Spain from the Roman period until the present day. The climate in the Gredos Range is Mediterranean insofar as it includes a summer drought period lasting three–five months which is followed by heavy rainfall in the autumn and winter. The chapter then discusses the most complete and representative pollen records from the Gredos Range in the form of synthetic curves summarizing fluctuations of taxa for which occurrences and/or variations might be interpreted as vegetation successions triggered by human activities. The pollen date obtained from the Roman period suggests the development of a heterogeneous landscape which contained not only variations in rhythms of human impact, but also significant spatial variability.