Iberomaurusian reduction sequences in northeast Morocco

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North-western Africa experienced significant environmental shifts during Marine Isotope Stage 2, including periods of major aridity and intense cooling (Heinrich events 2 and 1).

In order to understand the relationship between those environmental fluctuations and the technical systems/land-use dynamics of local Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, the results of work recently undertaken at the archaeological site of Ifri El Baroud (NE Morocco) are presented.

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Alessandro Potì, PhD Candidate in Project C2.

The site yields a well-stratified sequence of ca. 3 m thickness of LSA deposits (Early and Late Iberomaurusian) very rich in charcoal and archaeological finds. Technological analysis of the lithic assemblages compared with the study of the vertebrate fauna, molluscs and botanical remains reveal a high dynamic interplay between environmental and behavioural changes.

Ifri El Baroud is one of the few sites of the Maghreb with both Early and Late Iberomaurusian layers. For this reason it plays a relevant role in assessing the nature of continuities/discontinuities in human and landscape ecology within the context of the LSA occupation of NW Africa.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 11/07/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Multi-scale dimensions of relief in Geoarchaeology: A base for reconstructing Late Pleistocene environments in the Eastern Desert of Egypt

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Scale, spatial and temporal, is one of the most important issues to deal with, when reconstructing former environments and landscapes. Interdisciplinary research such as geoarchaeology is dealing with different disciplines, descriptions and interpretations and therefore often work with varying meanings of specific scales. As geomorphology plays a substantial part of Geoarchaeology (e.g. Fuchs & Zöller 2006, Working Group on Geoarchaeology (WGG) as subproject of the International Associations of Geomorphology (IAG)), concepts of scale from geomorphological perspective are highly recommended when discussing issues of scale in geoarchaeology. Rather than sedimentology, mineralogy or other geosciences dealing with geoarchaeological research questions, geomorphology has a broader understanding in matters of geographical space.

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Felix Henselowsky, PhD Candidate in Project A1.

Based on the classification between the dimension of a landform and their persistence  (after Dikau 1988, Ahnert 1996, Bubenzer 2009), we identify three different levels of observations concerning the identification of landforms: The Microrelief (object dimension between 10-3– 10-1km), Mesorelief (10-1 – 101km) and Macrorelief (101– 103km). Each scale has significant relief forms, e.g. starting from single wadi terraces, specific catchments, and drainage network up to full mountain ranges, all of them with informative values for a specific spatial and temporal scale. In the end, a clear identification of specific scales by integrating also archaeological evidences is given to answer key research questions about landscape evolution, connectivity of regions and corridors for human migration. The talk discusses problems and challenges of this approach for the Eastern Desert as an example of a today´s hyper arid environment.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 11/07/2016, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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A 1.2 million year record of ecosystem evolution from Lake Malawi, Africa’s most biodiverse lake

Andy Cohen Lake

Long records of Quaternary ecological and climatic change are critical to understanding the range of potential responses of ecosystems to environmental forcing. In Africa, where complex and ancient tropical ecosystems are important parts of the landscape such records are still relatively rare. In this talk I will present an integrated lake and watershed paleoecological analysis from drill core records obtained by the Lake Malawi Drilling Project, documenting extraordinary fluctuations in climate, hydrology and ecosystem response for the southern tropics of Africa. High resolution lacustrine and terrestrial paleoecology and sedimentology data sets from these Early Pleistocene-Holocene drill cores provide the most complete record of this duration currently available from Africa. Time series analyses of these records demonstrate the important role that insolation, and especially ~400ka eccentricity modulated precessional cyles Malawi ecosystems. We observe shifts between more arid conditions (shallow alkaline and well mixed lake, with discontinuous desert vegetation) and more humid environments (deep, stratified, freshwater lake with dense forest). These broadly synchronous changes in lake paleoecology, lake sedimentology, and watershed vegetation demonstrate the major role of climate in regulating this system. Transitions between these lake/watershed state extremes is often very abrupt, suggesting that the combined lake/watershed repeatedly passed through hydroclimate thresholds, with important implications for the evolution of the lake’s endemic biodiversity and ecosystem. Lake Malawi also appears to have undergone a major state change after 800-700ka with an adjustement in base level of hundreds of meters that appears to reflect a change in outlet position driven by tectonics. All of these cyclic and non-cyclic changes provide an environmental template against which we can much better understand the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes which has occurred in the lake, one of the most biodiverse lakes on earth.

Prof. Andrew Cohen (University of Arizona)

My research area is paleolimnology, the interpretation of lake history from sedimentary and paleontological records. Most of my work to date has involved studies of depositional environments, paleoecology, and climate history of the African Rift Lakes and the arid climate lakes of the western US. I use paleoecological and sedimentological records as primary tools in the interpretation of lake deposits, from both outcrops and sediment cores.

Event Information:

Date, Time:04/07/2016, 14:00 h – 15:00 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Investigating sediment thicknesses with geophysics in the East-African Rift Valley

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When aiming at the reconstructing of the paleoclimate, applied geophysical techniques can assist with the identification and definition of possible paleoenvironmental archives such as sedimental deposits.

In 2014 and 2015, a group of geophysicists from the University of Cologne investigated

Marc Seidel, PhD Candidate in A2

Marc Seidel, PhD Candidate in A2

three sedimentary basins within the East ­African Rift Valley using 2D transient electromagnetics (TEM) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). Lake Chew Bahir (“Salty lake” in Amharic, approx. 500 m a.s.l.) is a 30 km x 70 km saline mudflat that episodically fills with water during rainy season. According to airborne gravity and seismic reflection data, the thickness of its sedimentary deposits is assumed to be of several kilometers. Therefore, the basin potentially provides sedimentary archives that extend far beyond the Quaternary. The source area of Bisare River is located within the Hobitcha Caldera near Wolaita Sodo in southern Ethiopia. Former sedimentological results indicate a continuous sedimentation process and Tephra layers. The double crater system of the Dendi Lakes is located at Mount Dendi (3,270 m asl) 80 km west of Addis Ababa. First drillings revealed holocene deposits within the lake sediments. Our results indicate sediment thicknesses comprising quaternary sediments.

The recorded data was processed using the software AarhusInv from the Hydrogeophysics Group of the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Here, all data and models are inverted as one system, producing layered solutions with laterally smooth transitions. The models are regularized through lateral constraints that tie interface depths or thicknesses and resistivities of adjacent layers. These inversion schemes are well suited for data taken in sedimentary environments.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 27/06/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Sedimentological and computer-based investigations on fluvial dynamics within the Ethiopian Highlands

svenja_meyer_blog_ethopia Ethiopia constitutes several unique research sites for understanding human response to environmental change during the Late Quaternary. Diverse environments were created by interacting tectonic and climate regimes and discovery of numerous archaeological records give reason for geoarchaeological research on caves, rockshelters, and surrounding landscapes. Mochena Borago Rockshelter is under study for Late Pleistocene to Holocene occupation of anatomically modern humans and builds the chronological framework for integration of Later Stone Age (LSA) and Middle Stone Age (MSA) assemblages within the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands. 10 km east of Mochena Borago, areas affected by gully erosion at Bisare River site have exposed obsidian raw material outcrops and archaeological (LSA, MSA) assemblages.

Svenja Meyer, PhD Candidate in X1.

Svenja Meyer, PhD Candidate in A1.

Sedimentological and GIS-based drainage system and geomorphological analyses are conducted to understand actual and ancient fluvial dynamics and archaeological preservation within the catchment of Bisare River in order to reconstruct ancient landscapes. Together with Mochena Borago and Bisare River in the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands, investigations at site Dendi Lake in the central Ethiopian Highlands on archaeological assemblages of all Stone Age periods are carried out. Therefore, the Dendi caldera complex is under study for GIS-based and sedimentological geomorphological mapping and hydrological analyses of the lake in- and outflow for paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 27/06/2016, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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How to get funding: Grant writing workshop for young researchers

banner_grand_writingIn this workshop, research funding experts from proWiss Consulting Services for Researchers will share their knowledge in the field of proposal writing for research grants.

In the workshop we will think about ways how to transform your research idea into a promising grant proposal.

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Topics covered in this workshop:

  • Important principles of grant writing
  • Structure of a grant proposal
  • How to create a budget plan
  • Reviewer-oriented writing
  • How to search for an appropriate funding agency

Please be prepared for active participation, group work and exercises.

You will work on your own research ideas!

Your Instructors:

Dr. Birte Kathage

Dr. Birte Kathage

PD Dr. Reinhard Klein-Arendt

PD Dr. Reinhard Klein-Arendt

 

Birte Kathage, PhD and Reinhard Klein-Arendt, PhD are research consultants at proWiss Consulting Services for Researchers and experts in the fields of grant proposal writing, research funding and research (project) management. As trainers for the DAAD DIES ProGRANT-Courses they are responsible for the training of researchers and younger PhD holders from countries in the Global South (mainly Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia).

SCHEDULE

Monday 20.06.2016

 09.00 – 10.30h:

  • Welcome address
  • Introduction of facilitators and participants
  • Important principles of grant writing
    • Elevator pitch
    • Group work: Elevator Pitch
    • Presentation

10.30-10.45h:

  • Coffee break

10.45-12.15h:

  • Structure of a grant proposal
    • Excercise: Summary
  • How to create a budget plan

12.15-13.15h:

  • Lunch break

13.15-14.45h:

  • cont. budget plan
  • Group work & presentation
  • Reviewer-oriented writing

14.45-15.00h:

  • Coffee break

15.00-16.30h:

  • cont. reviewer-oriented writing
    • Group work & presentation: bad proposals
  • How to search for an appropriate

Booking tag-01Friday 24.06.2016

Individual consultations (please make your reservations here)

Event Information:

Date, Time:20/06/2016, 09:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 1.90 Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Cologne

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The lithic raw material economy of the Banat (SW-Romania) during the early Upper Palaeolithic

Estimating modern human dispersal is a tricky task, especially considering the many gaps in our current knowledge of past land use and provisioning strategies. Hence, before something meaningful can be said on such a broad scale, these mechanisms should be understood on the local and regional scales along the assumed migratory routes in Africa and beyond. One such key-area in the early modern human peopling of Europe is the Banat in Southwest Romania, which is home to the famous Oase Cave early modern human remains (± 40 ka cal BP).

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Ine Léonard, PhD Candidate in B1.

Ine Léonard, PhD Candidate in B1.

Sadly, these fossils are deprived of a reliable archaeological context. Fortunately, three open-air localities, of which two multi-layered, comprise rich lithic artefact records that have been dated to this crucial point in time.

Since organic preservation at these sites is poor, the focus of research is on the lithic artefacts. To establish understanding of the aforementioned mechanisms contained within these archaeological assemblages, the lithic records are evaluated regarding the represented technological strategies, raw materials and cortex relicts. For the raw material provenance study, geochemical –X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy– and petrographic analysis were used to avoid the impediment of country-/language-specific nomenclature. The integration of these data enabled the estimation of the lithic raw material economy of the Banat during the early Upper Palaeolithic that involved a peculiar technological organization of the landscape along with the manifold usage of local and regional raw materials, which corresponded to provisioning strategies ranging from ad hoc to specialized in nature.

Moreover, an interesting relation between the open-air localities and the cave sites could also be inferred, in which the hilly onset of the Carpathian Mountains is preferred for either high-frequentation or long-term occupation, whereas the lower and higher areas of the region were only occasionally visited leaving behind few and fragmented traces – a tendency that has also been observed elsewhere along the fringes of the Carpathian Basin.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 13/06/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Quaternary fluvial environments in NE Morocco inferred from geochronological and sedimentological investigations

Fluvial terrace formations of the Lower Moulouya River, showing three Holocene terraces as well as three distinct levels of Pleistocene fluvial deposits (view to the north).

Fluvial terrace formations of the Lower Moulouya River, showing three Holocene terraces as well as three distinct levels of Pleistocene fluvial deposits (view to the north).

Melanie Bartz is a PhD student in the C2 project “Early Holocene Contacts between Africa and Europe and their Palaeoenvironmental Context” of the CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe” of the University of Cologne, at the Institute of Geography supervised by Prof. H. Brückner.

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The prehistoric site of Ifri n’Ammar (NE Morocco), a rock shelter dated back to Middle and Late Palaeolithic times and characterised by periodic settling, reveals human activity since 170 ka. Fluvial systems provide direct information for the reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental changes; they also serve as indicators for the regional climate evolution.

Melanie Bartz, PhD Candidate in C2.

Melanie Bartz, PhD Candidate in C2.

In her PhD research, Melanie focuses on two fluvial systems of different scales to reconstruct palaeoenvironmental features in NE Morocco: (i) the ephemeral stream Wadi Selloum in the direct vicinity of Ifri n’Ammar, and (ii) on fluvial terraces of the larger Moulouya River drainage. The major tools to reach this goal are the application of geochronological techniques [luminescence (OSL, IRSL) and electron spin resonance (ESR) dating] as well as sedimentological analyses [e.g. micromorphology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM)].

(i) Wadi Selloum deposits have been dated between 102±8 ka and 1.3±0.2 ka, covering different morphodynamically stable and active phases, respectively. Periods of enhanced aggradation occurred ~100 ka, ~75 ka, ~55 ka, ~21 ka, and ~14 ka, as well as during the Holocene. Fine-grained overbank deposits were distinguished by high amounts of allochthonous minerals, such as quartz, K-feldspar and plagioclase, which indicate aeolian input into the limestone-dominated catchment. Landscape stability is evidenced by a Pleistocene palaeosol and two Holocene soils, characterised by the pronounced formation of soil structure, pedogenic calcite and frequent biogenic pedofeatures.

(ii) The Moulouya River drains an area characterised by crustal deformation during the Late Cenozoic. As a consequence of crustal shortening, contrasting fluvial environments occur on each side of a thrust zone: stacked terraces build up >37 m-thick aggradational deposits in the footwall, while a terrace staircase complex composed of at least three distinct levels form the hanging wall system. SEM analyses revealed a high contribution of fluvially transported mineral grains besides a minor contribution of aeolian input which gives information about the sediment history. ESR dating yielded ages of Early Pleistocene times.

This study provides first insights into the palaeoenvironment around the Ifri n’Ammar rock shelter during the Quaternary. By presenting the first numerical ages of fluvial records in this region, this project is a major contribution to unravelling the landscape evolution in the time of human occupation and even beyond.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 13/06/2016, 15:30 h – 16:15 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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The Wadi Sabra – a contextual approach to the Palaeolithic landscape

Parow-Souchon_Ansab_BlogThe close comparison of four sites in the Wadi Sabra area in Southern Jordan reveals surprisingly different adaptations in terms of lithic production and land use. A general increase in technological complexity with a growing focus on the production of composite tool forms go hand in hand with fluctuating mobility and differing resource exploitation in relation to changing climatic conditions. A short overview about the cultural development of the human groups inhabiting this favourable environmental niche shall be given to reflect the current state of the PhD research project.

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Hanna Parow-Souchon, PhD Candidate in B1.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 13/06/2016, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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Applying Multivariate Methods to Archaelogical Data (using R)

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Instructor: Dr. Georg Roth (Ur- und Frühgeschichte, University of Cologne)

The workshop focuses on explorative and inferential multivariate methods suited specifically for archaeological data sets. Methods are discussed with special reference to archaeological research questions, i.e. what insight is sought for and which method can support this approach.

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Starting with the classic archaeological method CA its fields of application are reviewed with a focus on its limitations and an alternative solution for archaeological data, transformation based PCA (tbPCA), is introduced. First day ends with including explanatory information into ordinations i.e. canonical ordinations (CCA, tbRDA).

Besides (explorative) ordination finding reliable groupings is an important field of multivariate analysis. Starting with a special emphasis on choosing suitable distance measures traditional cluster approaches are discussed and enhanced by building reliable groupings based on internal validity criteria. The workshop closes with perspectives on multivariate methods for more specific purposes.

During afternoon intermissions individual mentoring is possible. Participation requires base knowledge of data handling in R. Participants are kindly asked to refresh their skills in advance. A small list of free media is provided in advance.

Workshop Schedule Day 1, Friday

10.00-12.00h Introduction: Why m-var stats anyway?

Repetition getting data into R, multivariate stats packages, CA – myths of CA and seriation.

12.00-13.00h Lunchbreak

13.00-15.00h Comparing CA with tbPCA; new alternative ordinations for archaeological data sets.

15.00-16.00h Didactic break (individual mentoring)

16.00-18.00h Testing interpretations in ordination (constrained analysis); how to connect cause and effect for multivariate data. 

Workshop Schedule Day 2, Friday

10.00-12.00h Distance based methods with focus on clustering; how to measure differences for different kinds of data.

12.00-13.00h Lunchbreak

13.00-15.00h Finding reliable groups with cluster validity criteria; how to define objective groups. 

15.00-16.00h Didactic break (individual mentoring).

16.00-18.00h Perspectives on multivariate solutions for specific research questions.

Media:
Borcard et al. 2011: D. Borcard/Fr. Gillet/P. Legendre, Numerical ecology with R (New York 2011).
Legendre/Legendre 2012: P. Legendre/L. Legendre, Numerical ecology. Developments in environmental modelling 24 (Amsterdam 2012 3rd).

[a small collection of additional introductory media is provided in advance].

Event Information:

Date, Time: 03/06/2016, 10:00 h – 18:00 h
& 10/06/2016 10.00 – 18.00 h

Location: Room 1.90 Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Cologne

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