CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Cluster G: “Setting the Frame”

Graphic Cluster G

Cluster G is divided in two sub-projects, which are embedded in focus 4. It supports enquires concerning temporal resolutions and patterns as well as explores spatial patterns of change.

G1: Timescales of Change - Chronology of cultural and environmental transformations

G2: Geophysical prospecting, classification and validation of settlement remains in changing environments

Cluster G concentrates on the provision and further development of cutting-edge methodological and technological tools related to the dimensions of time and space.

Our technological and computational possibilities to approach the social aspects of space from an archaeological perspective have been significantly improved by recent developments in the field of geophysics. The application of this field to archaeological research is still very dynamic and innovative, and thus the CRC provides an excellent possibility for further method development.

Geophysical data provide 2D or 3D spatial images of archaeological sites in terms of physical soil parameters. As a basis for a quantitative assessment of archaeological structure and its spatial and temporal variation, special emphasis will be put on calibrating and methodically integrating geophysical measurements with results from excavations and drillings. Geophysical “ground truthing” will be achieved through a combination of additional measurements in situ (downhole and excavations) and numerical modeling. Project G2 will explore the intensity of ancient socio- environmental transformations by analysing the qualitative and quantitative changes of archaeological structures in space and time.

Palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data often form time series of sequential samples, which allow detection and enable an understanding of transformation triggers or modulating mechanisms.

Due to the often considerable signal complexity, appropriate methods must be developed in order to identify temporal trends and periodicities, to find correlations between different time series and, importantly, to assess the reliability of the results. This temporal dimension of archaeological research has recently gained new dynamics by the application of Bayesian modelling approaches. Again, here we have a highly dynamic and innovative field of methodology, which will be further enhanced through a connection with time series analyses. Project G1 will ensure a consistent application and a high quality of time-series analyses within the CRC.

Together, the geophysical and the dating projects provide a very promising frame for the CRC research on Scales of Transformation as a whole.