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Ice Age Man Burned Down Forests In Europe

First Posted: Dec 01, 2016 10:56 PM EST
Even in the past, man has been changing the environment for his survival. Ice Age man has burned down forests in Europe, as a study finds.
Even in the past, man has been changing the environment for his survival. Ice Age man has burned down forests in Europe, as a study finds.
(Elearnin/YouTube)

Early man was mostly a hunter-gatherer. Not until man learned to plant and harvest did he settle down to make a community. Before that, man led a nomadic life while surviving through hunting and gathering. In doing so, man created conditions that would be more favorable to hunting. That would mean bringing down forests for a much easier hunt. A study has found that Ice Age man has burned down forests in Europe.

During the Ice Age, man was mostly a hunter and gatherer. Europe was then densely forested. This made hunting difficult, since the trees would have been a hindrance to a clear view of a possible target. Setting fire to forests also gave way to more open spaces and newer vegetation, which man then used to gather food.

The new research by Professor Jed Kaplan from the University of Lausanne and Professor Jan Kolen from Leiden University showed that early man did much damage to Europe's forests. The researchers studied silt and used computer simulations for the study. They have shown that early man even then had the capability to change the landscape to suit to his advantage.

Through various computer simulations, the researchers have shown that Europe should have been more densely forested then. However, there has been much finding that pollens and other evidence found showed that much of Europe during the Ice Age had an open steppe vegetation, according to the Leiden University's site. Layers of ash in the soil are evidence that early man then burned much of the forests for a more open landscape.

An earlier study from Leiden University has been made that showed early man to have changed the landscape by burning, as Science Daily reports. Man has the ability to change the environment. That was as much true then as it is now. Today man still continues to change the landscape as development continues.

Ice Age man has burned down forests in Europe, a new study shows. Today that is still happening, as man continues on to technological progress, but at the expense of nature. That effect can be seen, as a study shows that the technosphere now weighs around 30 trillion tons.

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