An environmental reconstruction based on geoarchaeology and pollen data is the first step to refine our knowledge of the Late Glacial peopling of the Trieste Karst, and understand why this area was almost completely deserted by the groups of hunters-gatherers that occupied the nearby areas. Previous pollen studies on the Northern Adriatic area and the Karst area were examined, together with new data from a core in the south eastern Po Plain. The geoarchaeological study is mostly based on sedimentology and soil micromorphology of cave sediments of the Karst and Istria area. This study suggests that the Karst was particularly dry and generally poor in vegetation, unsuitable for big game and therefore also for settlement. Conversely, the shrubby grassland of the palaeo-Adriatic plain was probably a good subsistence resource for the LUP groups, which deserted the Karst because of the vicinity of a better settlement area.
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