CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

B2: Transitions of Specialized Foragers (ca. 9500–5000 BCE)


This subproject deals with transformation phenomena during the Early and Mid-Mesolithic. We have already significantly enlarged the empirical data basis and improved explanatory models about Mesolithic socio-cultural transformations. It has become clear that they were more diverse than previously thought.

Test trenching at DuvenseeFig. 1: Test trenching at Duvensee WP 2 to gain new sample material (© ZBSA).

The key questions in the current project phase are:

  • When did supra-regional transformation processes happen in the Mesolithic (i.e. what is the chronology of events and changes)?
  • What were possible drivers of such processes (i.e. what is the role of social and external factors)?
  • How were transformations distributed (i.e. which geographical and temporal patterns can be learned from the archaeological dataset)?
  • In which way did the tangible and intangible environment of Mesolithic people influence transformation processes (i.e. what are the pivotal points in landscapes and anatomies of transformation)?

To answer these questions, chronologies of site occupation and diagnostic artefacts will be used in connection with environmental analysis and studies of environmental perception. Focusing on more abstracting and theory-focused explorations the transformations are addressed from different perspectives and are more holistically understood. Interconnecting the different types of studies will render possible to differentiate local and global phenomena and to rate the impact of parameters like cultural exchange, climate, technology, isolation/interaction, and ecological succession.

Diachronic analyses of specific sites and of technological changes will give insights about patterns, directions, and scales of impact of how transformations appear and distribute in mobile forager communities. Finally, the landscapes and anatomies of transformation focus will address detailed environmental and socio-cultural reconstructions. To understand the natural environment, its reception by Mesolithic people and the significance of mutual interaction, detailed and fine-scaled vegetation and faunal reconstructions are fundamental.


Research activities 2020-2024

New Publications