CRC806-Database Publications Feed (RSS) Publications feed of the CRC806-Database After the cold: Epigravettian hunter-gatherers in Blazi Cave (Albania) This paper presents the latest results of archaeological research in Epigravettian deposits of Blazi Cave in north-central Albania. This Epigravettian site is the first of its kind in Albania with a large sample of stone artifacts, faunal remains and dating material. The study material stems from the last remaining Late Pleistocene deposits in this cave and therefore characterizes the site in its totality. AMS 14C dates place the cultural layers between 18 and 17 ka cal. BP. This age model coupled with the density of anthropogenic remains attests an intensive use of the shelter by hunter-gatherers in the final phase of the Last Glacial Maximum. The radiocarbon results place the Blazi data into the early phase of the Late Adriatic Epigravettian complex. This chronology is corroborated by certain technological and typological traits identified within the stone tool sample. Analysis of the faunal remains suggests a repeated use of the shelter in the warmer summer period. Blazi Cave functioned as a specialized ibex hunting site and therefore fits into a larger complex of task localities in the wider region. 2017-04-19T08:37:41+02:00; Two-dimensional basement modeling of central loop transient electromagnetic data from the central Azraq basin area, Jordan Thick sedimentary sequences are deposited in the central area of the Azraq basin in Jordan consisting mostly of hyper-saline clay and various evaporates. These sediment successions form the 10 km × 10 km large Azraq mudflat and are promising archives for a palaeoclimatical reconstruction. Besides palaeoclimatical research, the Azraq area is of tremendous importance to Jordan due to groundwater and mineral resources. The heavy exploitation of groundwater has lead to a drastic decline of the water table and drying out of the former Azraq Oasis. Two 7 and 5 km long transects were investigated from the periphery of the mudflat across its center using a total of 150 central loop transient electromagnetic (TEM) soundings. The scope of the survey was to detect the thickness of sedimentary deposits along both transects and to provide a basis for future drilling activities. We derive a two-dimensional model which can explain the TEM data for all soundings along each profile simultaneously. Previously uncertain depths of geological boundaries were determined along both transects. Particularly the thickness of the deposited mudflat sediments was identified and ranges from 40 m towards the periphery down to approximately 130 m at the deepest location. Besides that, the depth and lateral extent of a buried basalt layer was identified. In the basin center the groundwater is hyper-saline. The lateral extent of the saline water body was determined precisely along both transects. In order to investigate the detectability of the basement below the high conductive mudflat sediments an elaborate two-dimensional modeling study was performed. Both, the resistivity and depth of the basement were varied systematically. The basement resistivity cannot be determined precisely in most zones and may range roughly between 1 and 100 Ym without deteriorating the misfit. In contrast to that, the depth down to the basement is detected accurately in most zones and along both transects. Varying the depth of the basement or removing it completely results in a poor data fitting and, therefore, proves its significance. From the modeling study we derived bounds for the resistivity and depth of the base layer as a measure of their uncertainty. 2017-04-12T12:22:33+02:00 Climate- and Human-Induced Vegetation Changes in Northwestern Turkey and the Southern Levant since the Last Glacial Northwestern Turkey and the southern Levant are key regions for studying vegetation and climate developments during migration phases of modern humans and the origin and expansion of agriculture. Both regions have a long history of different anthropogenic occupation phases, and the vegetation was sensitive to climate variations and anthropogenic influences. However, paleoenvironmental conditions in northwestern Turkey and the southern Levant are still insufficiently understood. Therefore, the main aim of this doctoral thesis was to investigate climate- and human-induced vegetation changes in both regions during the Last Glacial and Holocene. To fulfill this aim, palynological studies at three lacustrine archives were conducted. Pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs such as green algae and spores, and microscopic charcoal were extracted from sediment cores and microscopically analyzed. The sediment cores originated from Lake Iznik (northwestern Turkey), the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), and the Dead Sea (both southern Levant). Pollen data inferred from Lake Iznik sediments reveal the vegetation pattern in northwestern Turkey during the past 31 ka BP (thousand years before present). The vegetation changed between (a) steppe during stadials suggesting dry and cold climatic conditions, (b) forest-steppe during interstadials implying milder and more humid climatic conditions, and (c) oak-dominated mesic forest during the Holocene indicating warm and humid climatic conditions. A distinct succession of pioneer trees, cold temperate trees, warm temperate trees, and Mediterranean trees occurred since the Lateglacial. Rapid climate changes reflected in vegetation shifts correlate with Dansgaard-Oeschger events (DO-4, DO-3, and DO-1), the Younger Dryas, and most likely the 8.2 ka event. The distinction between climate- and human-induced vegetation changes is challenging during early settlement phases. Nevertheless, evidence for human activity consolidates since ca. 4.8 ka BP (Early Bronze Age). Forests were cleared, and cultivated trees, crops, and secondary human indicator taxa appeared. Subsequent fluctuations between extensive agricultural uses and regenerations of the natural vegetation occurred. The palynological investigation at the Dead Sea provides insights into the vegetation history of the southern Levant between ca. 88 and 9 ka BP. The pollen record from the Sea of Galilee yields additional information for 28–22 ka BP, when the Sea of Galilee rose above the modern lake level and temporarily merged with Lake Lisan, the Last Glacial precursor of the Dead Sea. A mixture of Irano-Turanian steppe communities, Saharo-Arabian desert vegetation, and Mediterranean woodland components occurred in the Dead Sea region during the Last Glacial. Pollen proportions of these three biomes changed over time mainly in response to changes in effective moisture (available moisture for plants). During the early Last Glacial (marine isotope stage (MIS) 5b/a and early MIS 4), the amount of Saharo-Arabian desert components was higher relative to later phases indicating low effective moisture. An increased proportion of Irano-Turanian steppe vegetation and Mediterranean woodland elements during the late MIS 4, MIS 3, and MIS 2 suggest more effective moisture. MIS 2 was the coldest period of the investigated timeframe as indicated by a change in arboreal taxa. An assessment of the vegetation and climate gradients in the southern Levant during MIS 2 is possible by comparing the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea pollen datasets. The well-dated and high-resolution pollen record from the Sea of Galilee suggests that steppe vegetation with dwarf shrubs, grasses, and other herbs predominated in northern Israel during 28–22 ka BP. In contrast to the Holocene, dense Mediterranean woodland did not cover the surroundings of the Sea of Galilee. Thermophilous trees were probably patchily distributed in the whole study area. The gradient of effective moisture between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea/Lake Lisan was not as strong as today. The Dead Sea region witnessed several environmental changes during the Lateglacial and early Holocene caused by climatic variations and/or anthropogenic influences. After these rapid and pronounced changes, a considerably different ecosystem with sparse Mediterranean woodland, high fire activity, and strong catchment erosion prevailed in the Dead Sea region. While the results for northwestern Turkey are largely in line with previous regional vegetation and climate studies, previous investigations from the southern Levant concluded contrasting environmental scenarios for the Last Glacial and early Holocene. Thus, the new palynological results for the southern Levant apparently contradict some of the previous hypotheses. Therefore, factors influencing the pollen assemblage and the plant cover are discussed. The three palynological investigations provide insights into long-term and short-term variations of the paleoenvironment in northwestern Turkey and the southern Levant since the Last Glacial. They contribute to our understanding of interactions between vegetation, climate, and humans in the Eastern Mediterranean. This knowledge is not only essential for reconstructing the migration history of modern humankind but also helps to evaluate effects of current and future climate changes on the environment. 2017-04-12T10:47:32+02:00 Agent-Based Modeling of Hunter-Gatherer Adaptive Strategies Presentation given at the workshop "Inside - Outside" at the University of Cologne, 2016 Drawing conclusions on behavioral patterns of prehistoric hunter-gatherers from archaeological data - from cave and open air sites -remains a highly challenging task. The high fragmentation of the available records results in their interpretation strongly relying on conceptual models for correlation of the data. Agent-based modeling presents a promising complementary methodology for supporting the formulation and exploration of those conceptual models to test or increase their plausibility. This is especially relevant where hunter-gatherer societies are believed to have constituted complex adaptive systems. The aim of this paper is to argue why complex system theory provides a useful theoretical framework for understanding behavioral variations and to demonstrate how agent-based models can help to identify most probable conceptual models for specific timeframes and regions. By referring to a theoretical framework focusing on dynamic adaptation processes which are associated with effects on system resilience properties, the paper presents how case-specific explanatory models for archaeological detectable behavioral variations can be developed. As an application example, the case of the Northern Spain Gravettian is discussed. 2017-03-08T22:47:47+01:00 Incorporating ‘Culture’ in the ABM of Mobile Hunter-Gatherers Presentation given at the Workshop Considering Cultural Complexity in Agent-Based Modeling 23. and 24. October 2015 at the University of Cologne 2017-03-08T22:43:24+01:00