I am trying to find out what forests were the largest in Western and Central Europe, around 600 BC. I understand that accounts dating that far back may be difficult to find, but I hope other sciences can tell us the extent of Classical forests in Europe.

I hope asking for two forests is not too much. If it is, I will change the question to the largest forest in modern-day France or Germany.

My best guess and research would lead me to believe the Black Forest was the largest in the period, and after that I'm not sure what the second largest would be. Today, the Landes Forest is the largest in France, but as far as I know that forest was planted in the 19th century.

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    $\begingroup$ Something to read, i don't have the time right now, maybe later: nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18646-7. There is a plethora of data, from floral steps, pollen from varves, dendrochronology as well, climate, local, regional and overregional. I am not sure if we can compile it all here, it'll be worth a proper paper :-) $\endgroup$ – user20217 Apr 27 '20 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ Forests reach back to the beginning of reforestation after the glaciers of the LGM retreated. I wildly and unreflectedly suggest a candidate, the Bohemian Forest, as a starter. Also because afaik it wasn't used intensively during the Neolithic sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034666715000767. Any way, 600bc is in the early Iron Age, Hallstatt period, if that helps looking things up. $\endgroup$ – user20217 Apr 27 '20 at 12:24
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    $\begingroup$ This may help: wsl.ch/staff/niklaus.zimmermann/papers/… $\endgroup$ – Spencer Apr 27 '20 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ The maps are intriguing, but if you look closely, you'll see how a lot of sharp transition lines follow existing national borders. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Apr 27 '20 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ At that time, was there even such a thing as "a" forest? As opposed to a basically continuous forest-covered continent with occasional open patches? As with North America: it is often said that before European colonization, a squirrel could travel from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River without touching the ground. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Apr 28 '20 at 16:11

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