Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/45698
Title: The impact of human activities on the natural environment of the Canary Islands (Spain) during the pre-Hispanic stage (3rd-2nd Century BC to 15th Century AD): An overview
Authors: Morales Mateos, Jacob Bentejui 
Rodríguez Rodríguez, Amelia Del Carmen 
Alberto Barroso, Carmen Verónica 
MacHado, Carmen
Criado, Constantino
UNESCO Clasification: 550405 Prehistoria
550501 Arqueología
Keywords: Canary Islands
Pre-Hispanic stage
Human impact
Deforestation
Faunal extinction soil erosion
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: 1461-4103
Journal: Environmental Archaeology 
Abstract: This paper presents a brief review of archaeological evidence for the impact of the pre-Hispanicpopulation on the environment of the Canary Islands. Prior to human colonisation, the archipelagowas an untouched environment with high botanical and faunal biodiversity. The first humansettlement can be traced to the early 1st millenniumBC; this period of settlement finished at theend of the 15th centuryADwhen the Spanish Crown conquered the archipelago. It has often beenassumed that the pre-Hispanic population had little significant impact on the islands’ ecosystems.However, abundant evidence for faunal extinctions, deforestation and soil erosion has beenrecovered from archaeological sites across the islands. This indicates that pre-Hispaniccolonisers introduced cultivated plants, opened up the forests to create fields and cut woodyvegetation for fuel. They also introduced domestic animals and alien predators resulting in a majordepletion of native fauna.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/45698
ISSN: 1461-4103
DOI: 10.1179/174963109X400655
Source: Environmental Archaeology[ISSN 1461-4103],v. 14, p. 27-36
Appears in Collections:Reseña
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