ABSTRACT

The Younger Dryas in Europe has long been recognized as a period of significant environmental and cultural changes. In northern Europe, in particular, the rapid cooling at the onset of this episode is seen to have led to a southward retreat of forests after their initial spread following the glacial maximum. The re-expansion of open, tundra vegetation was accompanied by a reappearance of reindeer-based, hunting economies, such as the Ahrensburgian. Some regions, such as the northern Netherlands, may even have been abandoned due to the rigorous conditions (Stapert 2000). Although debates about the causes of this climatic reversal continue (e.g., Firestone et al. 2007), its effects in many regions appear to have been profound.