Palaeoecology course 2022 in the heathland

September 19, 2022

Two of our field days for the University of Amsterdam (UvA) BSc Palaeoecology course took place in the heathland around Hilversum. This region is particularly interesting for exploring past environmental change because it includes glacial topography from the Saalian glaciation (c. 300,000-130,000 years ago), evidence of polar deserts from end of the last ice age (c. 20,000 years ago), and ancient soils which contain evidence of past landscapes during the Holocene (last 11,700 years). Furthermore, burial mounds and other earth works provide evidence of the thousands of years of human habitation and landscape modification.

During the excisions we visited the local geology museum (Geologisch Museum Hofland) to get an overview of the landscape, collected data to characterise the local vegetation, and discovered buried soils containing evidence of landscapes during the medieval period (c. 1500-500 years ago), the mid-Holocene (c. 5,000-6,000 years ago) and the end of the last ice age.

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