High-resolution paleoclimatic studies (e.g. δ18O, δ13C, CH4, MS, ect) provide detailed reconstructions of the Holocene climatic variability. They give a good indications of the past temperatures and rainfalls, but they don’t are unable to provide direct informations about the effects of the climatic changes on landscape and human ecosystems.
In order to asses the response of the subaerial geomorphologic/pedo-sedimentary systems to the climatic changes and their potential impact on the ancient human communities, detailed stratigraphical investigations in southern Italy have been carried out. In addition to indications provided by litho-pedostratigraphical and geomorphological investigations, the study has recurred to historical, archaeological, and palaeobiological data.
The work shows the acquired geoarcheological, tephrastratigraphical and cultural data correlated to some selected high-resolution paleoclimatic records, from the Mediterranean areas and other boreal areas, showing a substantial variability of the Holocene climate leaded by a millennial cyclicity. Some of the main regional cyclical climatic changes, centred at c. 5.5-5.0; 4.0-3.7; 3.0-2.5; 1.5-1.0 ka BP, appear to coincide with significant changes of the morphodynamical processes recognised in the investigated successions. More precisely the climatic variability affected the subaerial environments principally by arresting or enhancing specific pedogenetic, erosional and/or sedimentary processes in different environmental contexts of the Campania. This climatic-induced environmental modifications seem to have influenced human societies as well, affecting settlements, local occupation, circulation and the economic strategies.