CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

The Late Palaeolithic in central Northern Europe was at least occasionally characterised by extensive, possibly seasonally induced migratory movements of hunter-gatherer groups, whereas in the Mesolithic, mobility was rather limited to established areas

This is more than just a difference of residential and logistic mobility. The territoriality was transformed to a large degree, an observation that is going to be analysed by the distribution of sites, the seasonality and duration of settlements indicated by the faunal and vegetation records, and by the variability and more precisely similarities in the material culture. Apart from the factor of a changing climate, it is conceivable that more complex processes and an interplay of several factors on different sectors of society must be taken into account to explain and understand such transformations. Changes of climate and the landscape were most significant during the Final Palaeolithic. Instability was the rule to which people adapted from open park tundra landscapes to light forests, coastal landscapes, and inland forested landscapes characterized by a myriad of small lakes and crosscutting streams – thus best exploited by the waterways. However, also with the onset of more stable climates in the Early Holocene, the landscape was constantly transforming, to a degree to which hunter-gatherers had to react/adapt. In fact, with increasing territoriality we may ask if they were more vulnerable to small, sensitive changes in their environment.

The main objective of cluster B is to study and compare processes, triggers and components of the aforementioned social transformations, including coping strategies associated with climatic and environmental stress, the role of innovative behaviour, and changes in subsistence strategies and social interactions.

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