CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Research activities 2020-2024

B1: Pioneers of the North: Transitions and Transformations in Northern Europe Evidenced by High-Resolution Datasets (ca. 15000–9500 BCE)


Research activities 2020/2

With the second half of 2020, also the second funding phase of the CRC (2020-2024) began and for us a significant restructuring of our project: Mara-Julia Weber joined Berit Valentin Eriksen as co-PI. With her expertise, especially in the French Late Upper Palaeolithic, we expanded our study area southwards to examine the possible origin of the first pioneers of the North. The work packages (WP) were transferred from local focus areas such as the Ahrensburg tunnel valley to two regional overviews (WP 3: southern influences on northern Germany, WP 4: the impact of southern Scandinavia on Northern Europe) and further two thematic focuses (WP 1: projectile technology, WP 2: settlement and landscape patterns). These broader packages will help us identifying patterns in the record of the Pioneers of the North.

For WP 2 we could fill a PhD position in early 2021 with Stine Hildebrandt, a geophysicist. Thus, our PhD students continue to establish close collaborations with other subprojects: While Sascha Krüger was working very closely with F2, Stine will strengthen the connection to G2. Hence, we will collaborate with the geophysicists in France to work on refined geophysical methods that could help in planning excavations in multi-phased sites such as Etiolles and could offer clues to understanding what situations in the landscape were chosen by Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers to install their camps. Furthermore, we will also collaborate with the G2 project to detect and determine the extent of cavities in the salt dome underneath the Lieth Moor area and to reconstruct the different shorelines of a possible prehistoric water body through the Lateglacial.

As a preparation, Asli Oflaz has joined the workgroup to review the available geological and palaeoenvironmental data from the area of the Lieth Moor. The long-term aim is to establish a GIS-based 3D version of the Lieth Moor that may be used as a basis for reconstructing the palaeolandscape of this micro-region at different periods of the Lateglacial and early Postglacial. Against these reconstructions we want to test the setting of the respective archaeological sites to analyse the development of the human-landscape interactions. Furthermore, Asli Oflaz searches for comparable examples of tundra and light forest environments on top of salt domes and for specific environments developing there that could attract hunter-gatherer communities. The understanding of the salt dome underneath this area will hopefully also help us identify areas where longer stratigraphic sequences are preserved in collapsed cavities.

Our database of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites from Schleswig-Holstein, that was transferred from an MS Access to a PostgreSQL database earlier, currently comprises over 500 entries. Some of these still need to be checked for remaining mistakes but in general this database is a great aid in our collaboration within the CRC and beyond.

In summer we began a new collaborative project with members of several other CRC projects on reindeer demography during the Lateglacial. The first meetings showed that we needed to collect more details about reindeer from our Palaeolithic sites. This collection has been finished in late 2020.

For the WP 1, the Museum of Archaeology in Schleswig made 42 boxes available with the collection of G. Rughase from the Ahrensburg tunnel valley from the Museum of Archaeology. It comprises some thousand lithic artefacts and among them are several hundred Final Palaeolithic projectile points that allow a study on the variability and standardisation of these important implements of hunting weapons. In comparison with material from well excavated sites we hope to analyse the role of changes in these tools for the initiation of transformations in the Final Palaeolithic.

New Publications