Socio-economic changes in flint production and consumption in the PPNB period of the Greater Petra Region, Southern Levant

purschwitz_blogThis presentation is the outcome of a Ph.D, which recently was completed at Freie Universität Berlin (Purschwitz 2016). This paper presents the results of the chipped lithic analysis from five Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB, ca. 8600-6900 BCE) sites (Ail 4, Ba’ja, Basta, Beidha and Shkârat Msaied) which all are situated at the Greater Petra Region. Major changes in the organization of flint production and blank consumption are in evidence with the emergence of the large mega-sites during the late PPNB (7500-6900 BCE). An increasing number of bidirectional blade consuming households are opposed to few producing workshops, which operate beyond their own demand and produce on a regional supply level. Households which have restricted access to the late PPNB bidirectional bade network respond with self-supply strategies by using alternative blade technologies. This phenomenon or “technological dualism” between inter-site production and household consumption rises with increasing specialization in crafts and comprises all levels of production from raw material procurement to exchange.

Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin

Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin.

I argue that the emergence of the dualistic lithic economy (in the Greater Petra Region) is the result of changes in the network structure of the households. While MPPNB sites of the Greater Petra Region are small and only seasonal used, LPPNB mega-sites can be huge and permanently occupied by several hundreds to thousand inhabitants. According to general network theory the personal network (family, relatives, friends) of a MPPNB household is likely to be distributed over several more or less distant sites, while the personal network of a LPPNB household appears to be restricted to the mega-site itself. Additionally, it is likely that at mega-sites such as Basta or ‘Ain Ghazal an increasing number of inhabitant did not share the households personal networks and did not had social relations to each other. I expect that the lack of social control within the late PPNB mega-sites promoted profit-oriented thinking (negative reciprocity, surplus production) and constituted in increasing social inequality.

Literature:

Purschwitz, C. 2016. The Lithic Economy of Flint during the Early Neolithic of the Greater Petra Region. Geological Availability, Procurement, Production, and Modes of Distribution of Flint from the Early to Late PPNB-Period. Ph.D.-Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin (in German).

Event Information:

Date, Time: 12/12/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Upper Quaternary soil development and paleo-environments on the Swiss Plateau: A progress report

heinz-veit-vortragThe existence of periglacial cover beds as forming an important part of soil parent material in Europe is widely accepted. The youngest of these cover beds, the “Upper Layer” (Hauptlage) is assumed to have developed during the Lateglacial. The formation of Luvisols (Parabraunerden) is assumed to have occurred afterwards, during the Holocene, under forest vegetation and stable surface conditions. Some authors describe initial soil formation during the lateglacial reforestation period (Bölling/Alleröd), but still interpreting the main part of Luvisol formation under forest during the Holocene. One consequence of this interpretation is the use of Bt-horizons as paleo-ecological and stratigraphic indicators of interglacials in Europe.

On the Swiss Plateau, soils have mainly developed on glacial and glaciofluvial deposits of different ages, covered by periglacial cover beds. The known glacial chronology is an ideal prerequisite to study soil chronosequences on these Upper Quaternary deposits. We applied extensive OSL datings on the cover beds and the parent material of the soils. This allows a more detailed understanding of the timing of processes like decalcification and clay dislocation. The results question some of our basic understandings concerning the timing of soil formation and related paleo-geoecological conditions. These findings and preliminary conclusions from our ongoing research will be discussed in the talk. 

Prof. Dr. Heinz Veit, University of Berne

Prof. Dr. Heinz Veit, University of Berne

Heinz Veit holds the chair of Paleo-Geoecology at the Institute of Geography, University of Berne, since 1996. He did his studies, PhD and postdoc in geomorphology, soil science and geoecology at the universities of Frankfurt, Bayreuth and La Serena (Chile). His scientific interests are I) glacial history and chronology in high mountains (Andes, Bale Mountains, Alps), II) past and present periglacial dynamics and cover beds (Alps, Andes, Bale Mountains, Europe), III) tropical hillwash (Brazil, Kamerun, Nigeria), IV) geoarcheology (Bolivian Amazon, Bale Mountains) and V) soil genesis and paleosols (Europe, Kamerun, Nigeria, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil).

Event Information:

Date, Time: 23/01/2017, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Viva Defense. Preparing the disputation.

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Instructor: Dr. Jan Stammel from impuls plus.

Goals

During the disputation you have to present your research and defend it in a discussion with other experts and researchers. The Viva Defense workshop aims at preparing you for this thesis defense so that you can argue your points convincingly and think on your feet during the discussion. This workshop focusses on the questions and answers part. Responding to typical questions which may come up during the defense will be practiced in simulated scenarios.

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Content in brief

  • Presenting yourself as an innovative researcher: How to formulate your key results?
  • Typical questions and how to deal with them
  • What to do, when you don’t know the answer?
  • How to stay calm?
  • Simulating the Q&A-Session

Dr. Jan Stamm

Jan Stamm is a trainer and coach with years of experience in science and academia. His target groups are PhD candidates and Post Docs from all disciplines. Most often he works with interdisciplinary groups.

Dr. Jan Stamm, impuls plus.

Dr. Jan Stamm, impuls plus.

Jan Stamm did study philosophy, linguistics, and economics at the Universität Dortmund, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Nottingham University. He finished the interdisciplinary graduate program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. His philosophical PhD deals with questions about autonomy and resilience (summa cum laude).

One major focus of his work as a trainer and coach is self- and time-management and research-project-management. Another emphasis lies on workshops on viva defense and rhetoric. He also works as a PhD coach for teams and individuals.

Outside of academia he offers workshops and coachings which focus on the reduction of stress and a healthy work-life balance.

In his work as a trainer he puts a special emphasis on the individual interests, goals, and questions of his participants.Booking tag-01

Event Information:

Date, Time: 10/11/2016, 10:00 h – 18:00 h & 24/11/2016 10.00 – 18.00 h

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

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From rock art to cultural heritage management: A brief history of Cologne’s archaeological engagement in Namibia

goodman_crc_lectureArchaeology in countries that were affected by deep and multiple colonialisms manifests itself in many distinct archaeologies. We are confronted by archaeologies that were entangled, such as amateur, professional, academic, cultural resource management and community/ public archaeology. Some archaeologies such as professional and academic were more prominent and that gave the impression that archaeological authority was only to be found in the results of such practices. The relevance of other archaeologies such as avocational and community archaeology remained overshadowed to an extent that they were dismissed as unscientific and therefore not archaeological practices. The emergence and development of archaeology in Namibia is closely connected to the University of Cologne’s Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology (Institut für Ur und Frühgeschichte) and the African Archaeology. It is rooted in rock art studies and was born out of avocational endeavours. Archaeology in Namibia became professionalised through legitimisation by academic institutions such as the Cologne Institut für Ur und Frühgeschichte. However, the process of legitimisation overlooked the challenges of converting the academic throughputs into material that local professional and administrative archaeologists can use for heritage management.

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Goodman Gwasira, University of Namibia.

This presentation examines the relevance of the Cologne rock art investigations in Namibia to heritage management and the nation building project. It interrogates the perception that Cologne practised “extractive archaeology” in Namibia, which led to a lack of institutionalisation of archaeology and capacitating of local institutions. The central argument of the presentation is that documentation of Namibian rock art by the University of Cologne represents an irreplaceable and invaluable throughput which needs to be adapted and converted for use in rock art heritage management. The Cologne rock art catalogues have the potential of leading to the development of new methods and theories of heritage conservation and preservation. The presentation draws from ongoing research on the history of Namibia’s archaeologies and from personal reflections.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 07/11/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Internal IRTG Meeting

IRTG_internal_meeting

During this internal meeting, the IRTG office will give the PhD students some information about the CRC assessment for the third phase that will take place in March 2017. Additionally, the results of the IRTG evaluation by the PhD students will be presented. There will be time to clarify open questions and problems.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 21/11/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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