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Charcoal fragments from five historic campsite locations in the Galápagos Islands were identified and radiocarbon dated to investigate postulated early human presence in the archipelago, historic fuel wood collection patterns and the resultant impact on native vegetation. A variety of taxa and fuel types were revealed to be present in the charcoal assemblages, indicating geographically driven rather than species-specific methods of collection. Historic anthropogenic impact was therefore spread amongst woody taxa in the lowland plant communities, with severity dependent on proximity to campsite location. All charred remains were found to date from within the historic period, supporting the preponderance of archaeological evidence indicating that human presence did not begin in Galápagos until after European discovery. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

Original publication




Journal article


Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

Publication Date





207 - 217