CRC806-Database Data Feed (Atom) Hydroclimate changes in eastern Africa over the past 200,000 years may have influenced early human dispersal 2021-05-09T15:54:26+02:00 Reconstructions of climatic and environmental conditions can contribute to current debates about the factors that influenced early human dispersal within and beyond Africa. Here we analyse a 200,000-year multi-proxy paleoclimate record from Chew Bahir, a tectonic lake basin in the southern Ethiopian rift. Our record reveals two modes of climate change, both associated temporally and regionally with a specific type of human behaviour. The first is a long-term trend towards greater aridity between 200,000 and 60,000 years ago, modulated by precession-driven wet-dry cycles. Here, more favourable wetter environmental conditions may have facilitated long-range human expansion into new territory, while less favourable dry periods may have led to spatial constriction and isolation of local human populations. The second mode of climate change observed since 60,000 years ago mimics millennial to centennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles and Heinrich events. We hypothesize that human populations may have responded to these shorter climate fluctuations with local dispersal between montane and lowland habitats. Christian Willmes Potential raw material sources for the production of lithic artefacts in western Central Europe – GIS-data for the Rhineland, Westphalia, and the Benelux countries 2021-05-08T19:05:13+02:00 The GIS dataset contains 19 recent geological formation/ deposit shape files that keep lithic raw material used during the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. The geological data was gained from published digital maps (Carte géologique du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg 1998, GÜK200 2007, NRW: IS GK 100 DS 2009, Surface lithology (INSPIRE) 2016) whereas the data for 3 datasets on single outcrops, extraction sites and mining sites was collected during the D4 project phase (CRC 806). Further, out of the D4 project database 3 additive datasets where created describing the location of a singular Meuse gravel flint deposit close to Hambach, former tertiary quartzite (tertiary silcrete) and chalcedony sources (Floss 1994). The spatial analysis of lithic raw material sources is a valuable tool to identify Stone Age communication areas and regions of economic activities through different stages. Based on the combination of geological data and the D4 sites database potential Palaeolithic and Mesolithic foraging areas have been calculated for the D4 study area located in western Germany (NRW, Hessen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland), and neighbouring Luxembourg, Belgium (Wallonia), and the southern Netherlands (Limburg) (Gehlen et al. submitted; Schmidt et al., in prep.). References Birgit Gehlen, Mirijam Zickel, Jehanne Affolter, Kai Vogl, Christian Willmes, submitted, Potential raw material sources for the production of lithic artefacts in western Central Europe – GIS-data for the Rhineland, Westphalia, and the Benelux countries. Submitted for Quaternary International, Special Issue “Rockview. Raw material sourcing of the prehistoric flint artefacts”. Isabell Schmidt, Jehanne Affolter, Alvaro Arrizabalaga, Nico Arts, Nuno Bicho, Philippe Crombé, Birgit Gehlen, Sonja B. Grimm, Andreas Maier, Nicholas Naudinot, Marcel Niekus, Mathieu Langlais, Marco Peresani, Florian Sauer, Werner Schön, Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Hans Vandendriesche, Mara-Julia Weber, Katja Winkler, Annabell Zander, Andreas Zimmermann, Final Palaeolithic demographic estimates. In prep. Christian Willmes Extremely low Population Densities and uninhabited Areas: Research on Population Dynamics of our Ancestors 2021-05-03T10:34:36+02:00 Demographic studies are rarely concerned with prehistoric population developments. This is likely due to the difficult data situation. However, for this section of human history in particular, demographic factors are essential in modelling: the spread of anatomically modern humans, the appearance and disappearance of cultures and new economic spheres can only be explained against the background of population dynamics. The project E1, CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe“, has been investigating demographic processes among glacial hunters and gatherers since 2009. Thus, in conjunction with data on the Neolithic in the Rhineland (project LUCIFS, University of Cologne), an overview of the population development in Europe over the last 40,000 years has been compiled. Isabell Schmidt Human Adaptations to the Last Glacial Maximum: The Solutrean and its Neighbors 2021-05-03T10:26:54+02:00 The book assembles new insights into humanity’s social, cultural and economic developments during the Last Glacial Maximum in Western Europe and adjacent regions. It gathers original, up-to-date research results on the Solutrean techno-complex, reflecting four major fields of research: data from current excavations; analysis of lithic assemblages; new results from studies on climatic conditions and human-environmental interactions; and insights into artistic expressions. New methodological and analytical approaches are applied, providing significant contributions to Paleolithic research beyond the Last Glacial Maximum. Isabell Schmidt The sunny side of the Ice Age: Solar insolation as a potential long-term pacemaker for 3 demographic developments in Europe between 43 and 15 ka ago 2021-04-26T08:56:32+02:00 After a decade of research under the auspices of the project ‘Population dynamics: Land use 18 patterns of populations between the Upper Pleistocene and Middle Holocene in Europe and 19 the Middle East’, a consistent sequence of high-resolution palaeodemographic datasets has 20 been compiled, spanning the entire Upper Paleolithic from roughly 43 to 15 ka ago. When 21 viewed in a diachronic perspective, long-term trends of increasing and decreasing population 22 sizes and densities, as well as expanding and contracting areas of settlement activities (Core 23 Areas) become evident. An environmental parameter with potentially strong impact on 24 hunter-gatherers societies is solar insolation. The sun’s energy available at a certain time 25 and place is one of the main factors influencing plant growth. The amount of plant biomass, 26 in turn, largely determines the amount of animal biomass in a landscape. The latter is the 27 most important source of energy for European Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers. Here, we 28 aim to assess the potential influence of changes in solar insolation on palaeodemographic 29 development in Western and Central Europe between 43 and 15 ka ago. To this end, we 30 present estimates on the number, density and spatial distribution of hunter-gatherers for five 31 consecutive Upper Paleolithic periods in Europe. Based on regional climate model data for 32 the Last Glacial Maximum and solar insolation data, we calculate (1) differences in the 33 amount of Megajoule per square meter (MJm-²), (2) start, end, and length of the growing 34 season, as well as (3) summed temperatures during the entire duration and during the first 35 30 days of the growing season. A comparison shows that a moderate, steady increase of 36 population size and an extension of the Core Areas between 43 and 29 ka coincides with an 37 increase in the summed temperature, particularly during the first 30 days of the growing 38 season. The period between 29 and 25 ka shows a pronounced population decline, a strong 39 contraction of Core Areas and a withdrawal from higher latitudes. This coincides with a 40 markedly delayed growing season, a decrease in summed temperatures, and a marked 41 reduction in solar insolation during the early part of the growing season. Between 25 and 20 42 ka, we see consolidation and renewed growth in both numbers and densities of people and 43 an expansion and merging of Core Areas in Western Europe. There is a slight gain in the 44 energy available during the first half of the year. The growing season starts earlier and is of 45 increasingly longer duration, coupled with rising summed temperatures. Between 20 and 15 46 ka, the meta-population grows strongly, Core Areas expand and the higher latitudes become 47 repopulated. This coincides with further increasing summed temperatures and an ever-earlier 48 start to the growing season. Additionally, the gain in available solar energy during the early 49 phase of the growing season is particularly pronounced. These findings indicate that solar 50 insolation and its effects on an ecosystem’s phenological configuration over different trophic 51 levels is indeed an important factor in the long-term demographic development of Paleolithic 52 hunter-gatherers. Isabell Schmidt