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Forest Bioresource Utilisation in the Eastern Mediterranean since Antiquity

A case study of the Makheras, Cyprus

Julia Ellis Burnet


In this work the author explores the pre-historic and historic influences on two Cypriot forests in order to compile a definitive record of the evolutionary ecology of the forest environments in response to human impact and utilisation since antiquity. The scope included the following: An extensive field survey of the afforested landscape to record species types and specific site ecology and to assess the impact of historic settlement patterns within the forest; To correlate changing forest patterns discerned from the palaeobotanic record with known human associations; To define species habitat in relation to ore bearing geological material and archaeological sites; To ascertain the current level of biodiversity; To propose a base-line for the rehabilitation of the forest environment. The information provided has been collated from observations recorded during a systematic survey of the Makheras and Adelphi Forests, Cyprus, over a period of seventeen months. An important aspect of the data recorded was anumber of ancient archaeological sites, previously not thought to exist in the forest areas.