June 27, 2012

Iberian pine forest is 6000 years old

Pines from Tierra de Pinares (source)
Another curious snippet: the Castilian forest district of Tierra de Pinares (Land of Pine Forests), located at the border of the provinces of Segovia and Valladolid, happens to be at least 6000 years old, questioning the notion that it was a human creation. 

Since time immemorial the villages and towns of the area have lived with an economy largely centered on the exploitation of the resources of the pine tree (wood, resin, pine nut), what led many to suspect it was in fact a human design. However a new study of paleosoils has found that the maritime or resin pine (P. pinaster) has been there in large amounts since at least the Neolithic period, some 6000 years ago. 

The forest is an island of sorts among the wheat and sunflower fields that dominate the Castilian landscape, long ago probably more dedicated to cattle herding however. 

Cuéllar, above the "sea of pines" (green area behind).

Sources[es]: Pileta, SINC.

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