CRC Lecture Series 19th November by Daniela Holst: Subsistence & resource management in the early Holocene

The profound environmental changes at the beginning of the early Holocene worldwide are accompanied by innovations in human land-use, leading to a sedentary lifestyle and domestication in some parts of the world. The talk focuses on subsistence and land-use strategies in the contemporaneous European Mesolithic. Well-preserved archives allow for high-resolution reconstructions and quantitative assessments of the processing and stockpiling of high return harvests of energy rich foods. The hazelnut-roasting camps of Duvensee in Northern Germany form a prime example of Mesolithic subsistence strategies. Their potential implications on land-use and mobility are discussed in context with new evidences. A future research project on ground stone tools will contribute to the complement of our patchy image of the Mesolithic.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:19/11/2018, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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CRC Lecture Series 5th November by Martin Theuerkauf: From guesswork to maps – recent progress in quantitative vegetation reconstruction

The talk will give an overview of the main current approaches and illustrate their strength and weaknesses in a number of examples. It will then introduce the new ROPES approach. This method does not require pollen productivity as a parameter, and so may overcome major limitations of the present methods. It is suited to extend quantitative vegetation reconstruction into new regions and pre-Holocene periods, and allows analysis of long pollen records that cover several glacial/interglacial cycles. 

By Dr. Martin Theuerkauf from the

Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald

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Vegetation reconstruction from pollen data, although dealing with counts and percentage values, has long been a mere semi-quantitative field. Pollen percentages do not directly represent past vegetation composition, because plants species produce pollen in very different amounts and with different dispersal patterns. This bias in pollen data is well known since the inception of the field 100 years ago, but correction for a long time relied on ad-hoc informed guesswork.

Today, a suite of methods is available that enable true quantitative interpretation of pollen data. The methods cover different spatial scales: REVEALS for example aims to translate pollen deposition from large lakes into regional vegetation composition. LOVE and Marco Polo reconstruct stand-scale vegetation composition using pollen data from very small sites. The extended downscaling approach and the multiple scenario approach explore vegetation patterns in landscapes using multiple pollen records.

So far these methods are still rarely applied, however, for a number of reasons. Most importantly, the underlying parameters pollen productivity and pollen dispersal require elaborate calibration and are hence so far available for some regions only.

Event Information:

Date, Time:05/11/2018, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: HS XVIIb Main Building UoC, Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne

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CRC-Workshop: How to give a good presentation

Dear participants,

This workshop will focus on improving presentation skills. Please note, that participants must bring an 8 – 10 minute presentation on a subject of their choice.

The content:

  • Knowing your audience
  • Use of jargon Short review of dos and don’ts for slides
  • Importance of a good introduction
  • Leaving a lasting impression: a good conclusion
  • Body language
  • Handling questions
  • Presentation with feedback (trainer/group)

The program:

  • Introduction and general discussion on previous experience with presentations
  • Review of dos and don’ts for slides
  • Knowing your audience. Use of jargon
  • Break
  • Introduction / Body of presentation/ Conclusion
  • Handling questions / Body language / stage fright
  • Lunch
  • Presentations and trainer / group feedback
  • Break
  • Presentations and trainer / group feedback
  • Review and general feedback

 

The workshop will be held by Jill Yates-Wolff.

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Event Information:

Date, Time:29/10/2018, 09:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Übungsraum 1.313 / BFS 1. Etage, Bernhard-Feilfchenfeld-Str. 11, Cologne

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Good Scientific Practice

Dear participants,
Please note: The meeting location has been changed to “Übungsraum 1 (Rundbau Geographie)”

 

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Boessenkool_Karin

Dr. Karin Boessenkool

Good scientific practice in research and scholarship is essential for the integrity of science. It sets internationally valid benchmarks for quality assurance, which enable replication and further studies by other scientists. And it provides safeguards against scientific dishonesty and fraud. Good practice, thus, nurtures trust within the scientific community and between science and society, both of which are necessary for scientific advance (Source: European Science Foundation)

This workshop is divided into two parts: the first part (02.07.2018) will introduce you to the principles of good scientific practice. An overview of your rights and responsibilities as a researcher will be presented, followed by a discussion about who sets the rules and regulations  (recommendations) for good scientific practice.

In the second part (16.07.2018) you have the opportunity to assess issues related with good/bad scientific practice in a guided group discussion on five different themes (Ideas, Data collection and storage, Data in publications, Publications and the role of co-authors, Review process).

Please refer to the recommended readings below.

The workshop will be held by Dr. Karin Boessenkool (Coordinator of the Geosciences Graduate School).

 

Recommended Reading

Science Ethics:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Geophysical Union AGU
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Guides for Authors:
Journals of the AGU
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

Data policy:
AGU
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

Peer Review Process:
Nature Journal
Science Magazine

 

 

Event & Booking Information:

Date, Time: 16/07/2018, 14:00 h – 15:30 h
& 16/07/2015, 14:00 h – 15:30 h

Location: Übungsraum 1 (Rundbau Geographie), Zülpicher Straße 45, Cologne

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Paleolithic research in Armenia – eclectic point of view and future directions

Paleolithic research in Armenia by Dr. Ariel Malinsky-Buller, Senior Researcher at the Monrepos Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution.

Armenia is situated in the Southern Caucasus at the geographical intersection of Africa and Eurasia. The geography of the Armenia posed major challenges and opportunities for Palaeolithic hunter gatherer populations, with its mosaic of distinct ecological niches, large temperature gradients, and strong seasonal fluctuations across elevation gradients. This, in turn, make Armenia an ideal natural laboratory for testing models of climatic impact on hominin settlement patterns and population dynamics. The lecture will present two on-going projects in two eco-geographic regions within Armenia. The first is Kalavan 2, a Middle Palaeolithic open-air site located at 1630 masl on the northern slopes of the Areguni Mountains north of Lake Sevan. The second area is close to Ararat village at around 700 masl. Preliminary results and future directions of research will be presented in the lecture. 

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Event Information:

Date, Time:02/07/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Kleiner Hörsaal der Geologie (310a), Zülpicher Straße 49, Cologne

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Heinrich Events: An Unintentional Discovery And Its Possible Consequences for the future

In the mid 80ties an environmental impact assessment in relation to deep-sea dumping of medium-to-high level radioactive waste was carried out in the eastern margins of the Mid Atlantic Ridge next to the Bay of Biscaye. In one of the box corers recovered for radionuclide analysis a volcanic rock was found that triggered interest because of an unexpected geochemical feature on its surface. Subsequent investigations on the bordering sediment layer revealed hints on a massive ice rafting event possibly released from rapidly collapsing circum-Atlantic ice shields. The search for more of these events in numerous sediment cores exhibited a total of 11 layers since the end of the Saalian/Illinoian glaciation (OIS 6/5 to 2/1). The six events identified in the period OIS 4 to 2 indicated oceanographic conditions in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean that were different to those that prevailed during most time of this glacial period. Later, several authors proposed mechanisms that could have triggered the collapses, e.g. the Binge-Purge model (MacAyeal, 1993) or, access of relatively warm water to the grounding lines in conjunction with isostatic movements (Bassis, 2017).

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One of the consequences of rapid ice shield collapses is sea level rise. Paleo data report rates of up to several meters per century over a period of several centuries. The process described by Bassis et al. resembles to what nowadays can be observed along the ice margins of Greenland and the Antarctic where (man-made) warmed ocean water attacks the grounding lines. If this initiates something like a Heinrich event this is of widespread consequence for coasts, from displacement of populations to marine pollution.

Research on past Heinrich events is important for understanding the future developments of the existing ice shields and climate change.

Event Information:

Date, Time:18/06/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Kleiner Hörsaal der Geologie (310a), Zülpicher Straße 49, Cologne

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Interglacial Diversity in the Mediterranean Basin, Insights from Central Italy Continental Carbonates

The Apuan Alps (central Italy).

Past interglacial periods can be seen as a series of natural experiments characterized by different boundary conditions (e.g. seasonal and latitudinal distribution of insolation, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, extent of continental ice sheets), with different consequent effects on the character of climate change. Past interglacial are keys to understand past but also future-climate, because they represent potential analogues of the present warm period (Holocene) and offer the unique possibility to investigate the background of climate variability in which human-induced modifications operate, and to clarify their role in the natural sequence of events.

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Continental carbonates (speleothem and lacustrine sediment) from the Mediterranean basin represent invaluable archives of past climate. Particularly, oxygen stable isotope composition of these deposits responds sensitively to variations in regional hydrology. This information can be complemented by the study of others properties (e.g. elemental and mineralogical composition), to obtain more detailed information on local environmental changes. In this talk, several case studies from central Italy lakes and caves are presented.  They cover the Last Interglacial (ca. 130-90 ka), and the interglacial corresponding to the marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 19 (ca. 790-760 ka), considered the best orbital analog of the Holocene over the last million of years. All the presented records have independent, radiometric chronologies thanks to uranium-thorium dating of speleothem and to Argon/argon dating of volcanic ash layers interbedded to the lacustrine sediment. Climate evolution, hydrological response and millennial-scale variability are evaluated, and the potential link with the extra-regional and global climate is discussed.

Event Information:

Date, Time:07/05/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Kleiner Hörsaal der Geologie (310a), Zülpicher Straße 49, Cologne

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12th Martin-Schwarzbach-Colloquium

The Centre for Quaternary Science and Geoarchaeology (QSGA) is pleased to announce its twelfth annual colloquium in honour of Martin Schwarzbach.
This year, our meeting focuses on human dispersal and paleoclimate at the crossroad on the Levant.
We are especially pleased that Thomas Litt (University of Bonn) and Michael Petraglia (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) have accepted our invitation to Cologne.

We would like to extend a very cordial invitation to this exciting meeting!

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SCHEDULE

15.00 – 15.15h:        Words of welcome

15.15 – 15.30h:        Jürgen Richter

Welcome of QSGA-Visiting-Professor Prof. Dr. Maysoon Al Nahar

15.30 – 16.30h:   Thomas Litt

“The Southern Levant: Corridor or Barrier During the Dispersal of Modern Humans”

.16.30 – 16.45h:        Coffee Break

16.45 – 17.45h:   Michael Petraglia

“Palaeoenvironmental Change and Human Occupation History at the Cross-roads of Continents

17.45h:                     Get Together (incl. Snacks & Drinks)

 

If you are interested in attending, please reserve a seat using our online booking system or send an email to the IRTG Office till April 18, 2018.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 27/04/2018, 15:00 h – 18:00 h

Location: Geo-/Bio-Hörsaal, Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

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Comparing the expansions of Middle Stone Age and Middle Palaeolithic populations in East Africa and South Asia

Tea break during my excavations at Katoati in Rajasthan.

Fossil and genetic studies on the origins and expansions of modern humans reveal an increasingly complex mosaic, including regionally structured populations within Africa, and numerous expansions into Eurasia resulting in multiple episodes of interbreeding with other hominins.

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Until recently, East Africa preserved the oldest fossil evidence for Homo sapiens, but it remains a key region to explore the emergence of modern
humans as a crossroads for interactions of structured populations within Africa and providing access to routes beyond. In contrast, South Asia is the last major region of Eurasia to present fossil evidence for the arrival of Homo sapiens, despite a similarly pivotal role in putative routes of expansion across Asia. These two regions share a broadly similar size, a coastline on the Indian ocean and a comparable range of habitats, but distinct differences in the evolution of behaviour evident in the archaeological record. In the first part of my talk, I will examine behavioural diversity within the Middle Stone Age of East Africa, based upon a comprehensive synthesis of the archaeological literature and the application of a quantitative approach. This identifies aspects of continuity throughout the MSA, as well as pulses of behavioural diversification, both regarding packages of lithic technology and landscape colonisation. In the second part of my talk, I will focus more broadly on the culture history of South Asia to examine modern human dispersal. With respect to the most current evidence, it appears modern humans used Middle Palaeolithic toolkits to colonise South Asia during MIS 5. In conclusion, I will argue that examinations of human expansion and behavioural variability need to be rooted within a biogeographic framework.

Event Information:

Date, Time:23/04/2018, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Kleiner Hörsaal der Geologie (310a), Zülpicher Straße 49, Cologne

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