SFB 1266 - TransformationsDimensionen

THE HOLOCENE – Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies

 


The concept of socio-environmental transformations in prehistoric and archaic societies in the Holocene: An introduction to the special issue

Johannes Müller(1+2), Wiebke Kirleis(1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
Transformations of human societies and environments are closely interwoven. Due to improved possibilities of paleoecological reconstruction and archaeological methods, we are now in a position to empirically collect detailed data from a variety of records. The Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation’ has developed a concept in which both deductive and inductive transformation dimensions are compared on different temporal and spatial scales. This concept includes the connection between the environmental and social spheres, which are often inseparable. Accordingly, a holistic principle of socio-environmental research is developed, which is exemplified by the contributions to this special issue of The Holocene.

Keywords: archaeology, collaborative research, palaeoecology, prehistoric societies, socio-environmental processes, transformation

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857236

Müller, J., Kirleis, W., 2019. The concept of socio-environmental transformations in prehistoric and archaic societies in the Holocene: An introduction to the special issue. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1517-1530. 


Adaptations and transformations of hunter-gatherers in forest environments: New archaeological and anthropological insights

Daniel Groß(1+2), Henny Piezonka(3), Erica Corradini(1+4), Ulrich Schmölcke(1+2), Marco Zanon(1+3), Walter Dörfler(1+3), Stefan Dreibrodt(1+5), Ingo Feeser(1+3), Sascha Krüger(1+2), Harald Lübke(1+2), Diana Panning(1+4), Dennis Wilken(1+4)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA), Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig, Germany
  3. Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  4. Institute of Geosciences, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  5. Institute for Ecosystem Research, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
Like any other living being, humans constantly influence their environment, be it intentionally or unintentionally. By extracting natural resources, they shape their environment and also that of plants and other animals. A great difference setting people apart from all other living beings is the ability to construct and develop their own niche intentionally, and the unique tool for this is cultural behaviour. Here, we discuss anthropogenic environmental changes of hunter-gatherers and present new palaeoecological and palynological data. The studies are framed with ethnoarchaeological data from Western Siberia to gain a better understanding of how different triggers lead to coping mechanisms. For archaeological implication, we use two Mesolithic case studies from Germany: One of them focuses on hazelnut economy around ancient Lake Duvensee, and the other broaches the issue of selective roe deer hunt and its consequences at the site of Friesack. We address the archaeological evidence from the perspective of active alteration and its consequences, starting our argumentation from a perspective of niche construction theory. This approach has rarely been applied to early Holocene hunter-gatherers in Northern Europe even though the available data render possible to discuss human–environment interaction from such a perspective. It is demonstrated that archaeological research has tools at hand that enables to detect anthropogenic niche construction. However, the ethnoarchaeological example shows limitations and archaeologically invisible triggers and consequent results of human adaptations. The critical revision of such perspectives based on empirical data provides a better understanding of social and environmental transformations in the early- and mid-Holocene.

Keywords: ethnoarchaeology, hunter-gatherers, Mesolithic, niche construction theory, Northern Germany, pollen analysis, Siberia, zooarchaeology

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857231

Groß, D., Piezonka, H., Corradini, E., Schmölcke, U., Zanon, M., Dörfler, W., Dreibrodt, S., Feeser, I., Krüger, S., Lübke, H., Panning, D., Wilken, D., 2019. Adaptations and transformations of hunter-gatherers in forest environments: New archaeological and anthropological insights. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1531-1544. 


Infectious diseases and Neolithic transformations: Evaluating biological and archaeological proxies in the German loess zone between 5500 and 2500 BCE

Katharina Fuchs (2), Christoph Rinne (1+3), Clara Drummer (1+3), Alexander Immel (1+2), Ben Krause-Kyora (1+2), Almut Nebel (1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Center ’Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract:
It is a common assumption that – compared with the Mesolithic – the adoption of Neolithic lifeways was accompanied by a higher risk of infection and the development of epidemic diseases. Such a hypothesis seems plausible when considering singular archaeological parameters like increasing population density and palaeopathological indicators of poor health. However, evidence for the far-reaching consequences of epidemics has not yet been examined. Thus, the relevance of infectious diseases as triggers for transformation processes in the Neolithic remains to be identified. By reviewing specific archaeological, genetic and palaeopathological proxies gained from groups of individuals that inhabited the German loess zone from the early to the final Neolithic, we provide a diachronic view of the periods between 5500 and 2500 BCE with regard to postulated indicators of epidemic events. Our analyses of the archaeological proxies suggest major transformations in domestic strategies and mortuary practices, especially in the middle and late Neolithic. Interestingly, mass burials indicative of epidemic events are lacking. Ancient DNA results on pathogens confirm single infections throughout the Neolithic, but there is no clear evidence for diseases of epidemic proportions. The osteological records are not conclusive since the majority of osseous changes are unspecific with regard to the cause and course of infections. We conclude that currently neither biological nor archaeological proxies suggest substantial contributions of epidemics to Neolithic transformations in the German loess zone. This finding contrasts with the general assumption of a higher risk of infection and the development of epidemic diseases during the Neolithic.

Keywords: ancient DNA, archaeology, domestic strategies, epidemics, German loess zone, human remains, infectious disease, mortuary practice, multidisciplinary approach, Neolithic, palaeopathology

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857230

Fuchs, K., Rinne, C., Drummer, C., Immel, A., Krause-Kyora, B., Nebel, A., 2019. Infectious diseases and Neolithic transformations: Evaluating biological and archaeological proxies in the German loess zone between 5500 and 2500 BCE. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1545-1557.


Monuments and economies: What drove their variability in the middle-Holocene Neolithic?

Jan Piet Brozio(1+2), Johannes Müller(1+2), Martin Furholt(3), Wiebke Kirleis(1+2), Stefan Dreibrodt(1+4), Ingo Feeser(1+2), Walter Dörfler(1+2), Mara Weinelt(1+2), Hendrik Raese(2), Annalena Bock(2)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany
  3. Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Norway
  4. Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
In the regions of southern Scandinavia and northern Germany, within the Neolithic (c. 4100–1700 BCE), two episodes of intensified monumental burial construction are known: Funnel Beaker megaliths mainly from c. 3400–3100 BCE and Single Grave burial mounds from c. 2800–2500 BCE. So far, it remains unclear whether these boom phases of monumental construction were linked with phases of economic expansion, to phases of economic changes or to periods of economic crisis: do they precede and stimulate periods of economic growth? Or are they a social practice that results from social changes within the societies? To approach these research questions, we will use mainly information on the intensity of monumental construction phases, artefact depositions, environmental changes and changes in subsistence strategies as proxies for comparative studies. Our database comes from the southern Cimbrian Peninsula and adjacent areas. Being one of the most intensively archaeologically researched regions of Neolithic Europe, this region provides robust data sets. As a result, the study demonstrates that during the Funnel Beaker period, economy and ritual were closely interlinked, while disconnected in the Single Grave period.

Keywords: economy, material culture studies, monuments, Neolithic, northern Germany, sociocultural transformations

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857227

Brozio, J.P., Müller, J., Furholt, M., Kirleis, W., Dreibrodt, S., Feeser, I., Dörfler, W., Weinelt, M., Raese, H., Bock, A.-L., 2019. Monuments and Economies − What drove their Variability in the Middle Holocene Neolithic? The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1558-1571. 


Transforming landscapes: Modeling land-use patterns of environmental borderlands

Daniel Knitter(1+2), Jan Piet Brozio(1+3), Walter Dörfler(1+3), Rainer Duttmann(1+2), Ingo Feeser(1+3), Wolfgang Hamer(1+2), Wiebke Kirleis(1+3), Johannes Müller(1+3), Oliver Nakoinz(1+3)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Department of Geography, Physical Geography, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
How did socio-cultural transformation processes change land-use patterns? Throughout the last 50 years, outstanding comprehensive geographic, archaeobiological, and archaeological data have been produced for the area of Oldenburger Graben, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Based on this exceptional data set, we are able to study the land-use patterns for a period ranging from the Final Mesolithic until the Late Neolithic (4600–1700 BCE). By application of fuzzy modeling techniques, these patterns are investigated diachronically in order to assess the scale of transformations between the different archaeological phases. Based on nutrient requirements and proposed dietary composition estimates derived from empirical archaeobotanical, archaeozoological, and stable isotope data, the required extent of the areas for different land-use practices are modeled. This information is made spatially explicit using a fuzzy model that reconstructs areas of potential vegetation and land-use for each transformation phase. Pollen data are used to validate the type and extent of land-use categories. The model results are used to test hypotheses on the dynamics of socio-cultural transformations: can we observe a diversification of land-use patterns over time or does continuity of land-use practices prevail? By integrating the different lines of evidence within a spatially explicit modeling approach, we reach a new quality of data analysis with a high degree of contextualization. This allows testing of hypotheses about Neolithic transformation processes by an explicit adjustment of our model assumptions, variables, and parameters.

Keywords: fuzzy logic, landscape archaeology, land-use quantification, neolithization, social dynamics, vegetation reconstruction

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857233

Knitter, D., Brozio J.P., Dörfler, W., Duttmann, R., Feeser, I., Hamer, W., Kirleis, W., Müller, J., Nakoinz, O., 2019. Transforming Landscapes: Land-use Patterns of Environmental Borderlands. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1572-1586.


Middle-Neolithic agricultural practices in the Oldenburger Graben wetlands, northern Germany: First results of the analysis of arable weeds and stable isotopes

Dragana Filipović(1+2), Jan Piet Brozio(1+2), Peter Ditchfield(3), Stefanie Klooß(4), Johannes Müller(1+2), Wiebke Kirleis(1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  3. Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  4. Archäologisches Landesamt Schleswig-Holstein, Schleswig, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
A number of small middle-Neolithic (3300–2800 BC) settlements flourished in the Oldenburger Graben area of northern Germany. The excavations yielded large amounts of crop remains, suggesting that agrarian production was a cornerstone of subsistence economy. Until about 3000 BC, Oldenburger Graben was a fjord, which over time was separated from the Baltic Sea and became a lagoon. The location of the settlement in the wetlands would have been highly favourable, offering a range of terrestrial and aquatic resources. Nonetheless, it may have been challenging to the Neolithic farmers, as perhaps not much dry land was available for crop growing. The success of agrarian production likely depended on the methods employed. This is an initial attempt at reconstructing strategies of agricultural land use during the middle-Neolithic occupation of the Oldenburger Graben lowland. We combine information on the habitat preferences and life history of arable weeds, and the recently obtained carbon and nitrogen stable isotope values on crop grains from one of the sites. The evidence allows us to glean practices that crop cultivation may have entailed, including potential strategies aimed at improving productivity of arable land such as tillage, weeding and manuring. Although preliminary, the observations point at potentially different management of emmer and barley, perhaps due to their variable importance to the Neolithic residents. This is the first time that stable isotope analysis on crops from northern Germany is used to elucidate agricultural practices of the Funnelbeaker communities of the middle-Neolithic.

Keywords: arable soils, arable weeds, crops, Funnelbeaker, Neolithic, stable isotopes

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857224

Filipović, D., Brozio, J.P., Ditchfield, P., Klooß, S., Müller, J., Kirleis, W., 2019. Middle-Neolithic agricultural practices in the Oldenburger Graben wetlands, northern Germany: First results of the analysis of arable weeds and stable isotopes. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1587-1595. 


Human impact and population dynamics in the Neolithic and Bronze Age: Multi-proxy evidence from north-western Central Europe

Ingo Feeser(1+2), Walter Dörfler(1+2), Jutta Kneisel(1+2), Martin Hinz(3), Stefan Dreibrodt(1+4)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
This paper aims at reconstructing the population dynamics during the Neolithic and Bronze Age, c. 4500–500 cal. BC, in north-western Central Europe. The approach is based on the assumption that increased population density is positively linked with human activity and human impact on the environment, respectively. Therefore, we use archaeological 14C dates and palaeoenvironmental data from northern Germany and south-western Denmark to construct and compare independent proxies of human activity. The latter involves relative quantification of human impact based on pollen analysis and soil erosion history inferred from summarizing of dated colluvial layers. Concurring patterns of changes in human activity are frequently recorded on a multi-centennial scale. Whereas such multi-proxy patterns are interpreted to indicate relative population changes, divergent patterns are discussed in the context of proxy-related uncertainties and potential biases. Patterns of temporal distribution of increasing and decreasing human activity are understood as ‘boom and bust’ phases in population density/size. Based on the comparison of the three proxies, we identify five phases of growing (boom) and four phases of decreasing (bust) population. The boom phases date to ca. 4000–3500, 3000–2900, 2200–2100, 1450–1300 and 1000–750 cal. BC. The bust phases to ca. 3200–3000, 2400–2300, 1650–1500 and 1200–1100 cal. BC.

Keywords: 14C sum calibration, human environmental impact, pollen analyses, population dynamics, prehistory Northern Central Europe, soil erosion

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857223

Feeser, I., Dörfler, W., Kneisel, J., Hinz, M., Dreibrodt, S., 2019. Human impact and population dynamics in the Neolithic and Bronze Age: Multi-proxy evidence from north-western Central Europe. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1596-1606.


Cultural change and population dynamics during the Bronze Age: Integrating archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence for Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany

Jutta Kneisel(1+2), Walter Dörfler(1+2), Stefan Dreibrodt(1+3), Stefanie Schaefer-Di Maida(1+2), Ingo Feeser(1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Institute for Ecosystem Research, Kiel University, Germany
     

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
In archaeology, change in material culture is viewed as indicating social or cultural transformation and is the basis of our typo-chronological classification of phases and periods. The material culture from northern Germany reveals both quantitative and qualitative changes during the Bronze Age. At the same time, there is also evidence for ‘boom and bust’ cycles in population density/size, as indicated by changing human impact on the environment in several Bronze Age palaeoenvironmental records. These demographic fluctuations may relate to the observed changes in social phenomena in aspects of ideology, technology, food production and habitation. For example, innovations in food production, such as the adoption of new crops and agricultural techniques, could have led to population growth. While usually viewed by archaeologists as a ‘negative’ development, population stress or collapse may have favoured the emergence of new cultural phenomena. In order to test the cause-and-effect relationship between population dynamics and sociocultural change, we synthesise the archaeological evidence – qualitative and quantitative information from settlements, deposition finds (hoards), burials, material culture and architectural remains – for the Bronze Age in northern Germany, mainly Schleswig-Holstein, and compare it with the boom and bust pattern seen in the palaeoenvironmental record. The synchronicity of changes at ca. 1500 BC and ca. 1100 BC reflects the relationship between phases of major sociocultural transformation in the archaeological datasets and booms and busts in the palaeoenvironmental record of the region seen as a proxies for palaeo-demography. This sets the stage for a better understanding of the transformation of practices and relationships in the Bronze Age communities of the region.

Keywords: Bronze Age, cultural change, material culture, Nordic Bronze Age, Northern Germany, population dynamics

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857237

Kneisel, J., Dörfler, W., Dreibrodt, S., Schaefer-Di Maida, S., Feeser, I., 2019. Cultural change and population dynamics during the Bronze Age: Integrating archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence for Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1607-1621.


Modelling landscape transformation at the Chalcolithic Tripolye mega-site of Maidanetske (Ukraine): Wood demand and availability

Marta Dal Corso(1+2), Wolfgang Hamer(1+3), Robert Hofmann(1+2), René Ohlrau2, Liudmyla Shatilo(1+2), Daniel Knitter(1+3), Stefan Dreibrodt(1+4), Philipp Saggau(1+3), Rainer Duttmann(1+3), Ingo Feeser(1+2), Hannes Knapp(5), Norbert Benecke(6), Johannes Müller(1+2), Wiebke Kirleis(1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Institute of Geography, Kiel University, Germany
  4. Institute of Ecosystem Research, Kiel University, Germany
  5. Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Environnements Continentaux, Université de Lorraine, France
  6. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Germany

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
Wood was a crucial resource for prehistoric societies, for instance, as timber for house construction and as fuel. In the case of the exceptionally large Chalcolithic Tripolye ‘mega-sites’ in central Ukraine, thousands of burnt buildings, indicating huge population agglomerations, hint at such a massive use of wood that it raises questions about the carrying capacity of the sensitive forest-steppe environment. In this contribution, we investigate the wood demand for the mega-site of Maidanetske (3990–3640 BCE), as reconstructed based on wood charcoal data, wood imprints on daub and the archaeo-magnetometry-based settlement plan. We developed a regional-scale model with a fuzzy approach and applied it in order to simulate the potential distribution and extent of woodlands before and after Chalcolithic occupation. The model is based upon the reconstructed ancient land surface, soil information derived from cores and the potential natural woodland cover reconstructed based on the requirements of the prevailing ancient tree species. Landscape scenarios derived from the model are contrasted and cross-checked with the archaeological empirical data. We aim to understand whether the demand for wood triggered the site development. Did deforestation and consequent soil degradation and lack of resources initiate the site’s abandonment? Or, alternatively, did the inhabitants develop sustainable woodland management strategies? Starting from the case study of Maidanetske, this study provides estimates of the extent of human impact on both carrying capacity and landscape transformations in the sensitive transitional forest-steppe environment. Overall, the results indicate that the inhabitants of the Chalcolithic site did not suffer from a significant shortage in the wood resource at any time of inhabitation in the contexts of the different scenarios provided by the model. An exception is given by the phase of maximum house construction and population within a scenario of dry climatic conditions.

Keywords: charcoal, forest-steppe, imprints, landscape models, multi-proxy, timber, Trypillia

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857229

Dal Corso, M., Hamer, W., Hofmann, R., Ohlrau, R., Shatilo, L., Knitter, D., Dreibrodt, S., Saggau, P., Duttmann, R., Feeser, I., Knapp, H.,  Benecke, N., Müller, J., Kirleis, W., 2019. Modelling landscape transformation at the Chalcolithic Tripolye mega-site of Maidanetske (Ukraine): Wood demand and availability. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1622-1636.


Deciphering archeological contexts from the magnetic map: Determination of daub distribution and mass of Chalcolithic house remains

Natalie Pickartz(1+2), Robert Hofmann (1+3), Stefan Dreibrodt (1+4), Knut Rassmann (5), Liudmyla Shatilo (1+3), René Ohlrau (3), Dennis Wilken (1+2), Wolfgang Rabbel (1+2)

  1. Collaborative Research Center ’Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany
  4. Institute of Ecosystem Research, Kiel University, Germany
  5. Römisch-Germanische Kommission, German Archaeological Institute, Germany


article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
The unique size and development of prehistoric megasites of the north Pontic Cucuteni-Tripolye Chalcolithic groups (4100–3600 BCE) challenge modern archeology and paleoecology. The extremely large number of houses (approximately 3000, mostly burned) necessitates the development of multidisciplinary technologies to gain a holistic understanding of such sites. In this contribution, we introduce a novel geophysical methodology and a detailed analysis of magnetic data – including evolved modeling techniques – to provide critical information about the setup of findings, enabling a thorough understanding of the settlement dynamics, apart from invasive excavation techniques. The case study is based on data from magnetic field maps and distribution maps of the daub and pottery find categories. This information is used to infer magnetic models for each find category to numerically calculate their magnetic fields for comparison with the archeological data. The comparison quantifies the sensitivity of the magnetic measurements with respect to the distribution of the different find categories. Next, via inversion computation, the characteristic depth functions of soil magnetization are used to generate maps of magnetization from the measured magnetic field maps. To validate the inverted soil magnetization maps, the magnetic excavation models are used, providing an interpretational frame for the application to magnetic anomalies outside excavated areas. This joint magnetic and archeological methodology allows estimating the find density and testing hypotheses about the burning processes of the houses. In this paper, we show internal patterns of burned houses, comparable to archeological house models, and their calculated masses as examples of the methodology. An application of the new approach to complete megasites has the potential to enable a better understanding of the settlement structure and its evolution, improve the quality of population estimations, and thus calculate the human impact on the forest steppe environment and address questions of resilience and carrying capacity.

Keywords: Cucuteni-Tripolye, daub, inversion, magnetics, magnetization, modeling, prehistoric sites, quantification, tripolye megasites, Ukraine

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857238

Pickartz, N., Hofmann, R.,Dreibrodt, S., Rassmann, K., Shatilo, M., Ohlrau, R., Wilken, D., Rabbel, W., 2019. Deciphering archeological contexts from the magnetic map: Determination of daub distribution and mass of Chalcolithic house remains. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1637-1652.


Temporal dynamics of Linearbandkeramik houses and settlements, and their implications for detecting the environmental impact of early farming

John Meadows(1+2+3), Nils Müller-Scheeßel(1+4), Ivan Cheben(5), Helene Agerskov Rose(1+2), Martin Furholt(6)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Schleswig, Germany
  3. Leibniz Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Stable Isotope Research, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  4. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  5. Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Nitra, Slovakia
  6. Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
Long-held ideas concerning early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK) settlements in central Europe have been thoroughly challenged in recent years, for example, regarding their internal organisation or the use-life of individual houses. These topics have now also been addressed with the help of large radiocarbon (14C) datasets. In the light of this discussion, we present findings of our ongoing research at Vráble in south-western Slovakia. Intensive prospection by fieldwalking, geophysics and sedimentology, complemented by targeted excavations and archaeobotanical investigations, aims to unravel social and temporal relationships between three adjacent LBK settlements. A total of 23 of the c.300 houses revealed by geophysical prospection have been dated. Bayesian chronological modelling of this dataset, comprising 109 14C ages from 104 samples, indicates that the three LBK settlements at Vráble coexisted, and that overall the LBK settlement lasted for c. 200–300 years. Our results imply a ‘short’ use-life for individual houses (median c.20–30 y), suggesting that relatively few houses were inhabited simultaneously. Our data suggest that the overall LBK population at Vráble might have increased over the course of occupation, but probably never exceeded 200–300 individuals, based on the number of houses that could have been occupied contemporaneously. We compare the Vráble evidence with Bayesian chronologies for other LBK sites, and discuss the implications of these findings for models of population agglomeration and recognising the environmental impact of early farming communities.

Keywords: Bayesian chronological model, collagen preservation, environmental impact, Linearbandkeramik, population, radiocarbon dating

Doi:10.1177/0959683619857239

Meadows, J., Müller-Scheeßel, N., Cheben, I., Rose, H., Furholt, M., 2019. Temporal dynamics of Linearbandkeramik houses and settlements, and their implications for detecting the environmental impact of early farming. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1653-1670.


Between natural and human sciences: On the role and character of theory in socio-environmental archeology

V.P.J. Arponen(1+2), Sonja Grimm(1+3), Lutz Käppel(1+4), Konrad Ott(1), Bernhard Thalheim(1+5), Yannic Kropp(1+5), Kim Kittig(1+4), Johanna Brinkmann(1+6), Artur Ribeiro(1)

  1. Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies’, Kiel University, Germany
  2. Department of Philosophy, Kiel University, Germany
  3. Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig, Germany
  4. Institute of Classical Studies, Classical Philology, Kiel University, Germany
  5. Department of Computer Science, Kiel University, Germany
  6. Institute of Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Kiel University, Germany

article SAGE journals

Abstract: 
Prominent voices in archeology have expressed deep skepticism about the role of theory in archeology, while with new, exciting methods at its disposal, archeological science is occasionally perceived as not needing theory at all. This article reflects upon the debate about theory in archeology to arrive at a robust but critical middle-range concept of the role and character of theory in socio-environmental archeology. It is argued that archeology is a data-based science and, consequently, in order for theory to be meaningful in socio-environmental archeology, theory ought explicitly aim to make its qualitative concepts quantitative to establish a clear relation to data and its interpretation. On the turn side, theory plays an important role critically reflecting upon the use of concepts in archeological understanding and explanation, as well as their origins in particular paradigms, as examples of which certain debates in scientific archeology are discussed (aDNA and migration, evolutionism). We argue that such a model would serve archeology far more than the dismissal of theory on the one hand and the continued production of ‘high’ theory in absence of operationalization on the other.

Keywords: archeological theory, evolutionary theory, human science, immigration, natural science, reflectivity

Doi:10.1177%2F0959683619857226

Arponen, V.P.J., Grimm, S., Käppel, L., Ott, K., Thalheim, B., Kropp, Y., Kittig, K., Brinkmann, J., Ribeiro, A., 2019. Between natural and human sciences: On the role and character of theory in socio-environmental archeology. The Holocene 29 (10). Fuchs, K.Kirleis, W.Müller, J. (Guest eds.) Special Issue: Scales of Transformation – Human-Environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies, 1671-1676. 

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