Geoarchaeology in the Desert: Unique Cave Sediments, Landscape Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at Sodmein Cave, Egypt


 Before I started my PhD, I did my bachelor in Geography and the master study course “Quaternary Science & Geoarchaeology”, both at the University of Cologne. I already wrote my bachelor-thesis in the C1-project and during my master, I changed to the A1-project. My master-thesis was about first micromorphological investigations at Sodmein Cave in Egypt.

Sodmein Cave can be interpreted as one of the rare living sites in the time frame between 120 ka and 7 ka before today in northeast Africa.
Nowadays, a hyperarid climate is dominant in the area, but the excavated sequence – with more than 4 m of stratified occupation debris of mainly Middle Stone Age (MSA) deposits – indicate for the Pleistocene regional wetter conditions.


Felix Henselowsky
Project A1

Main objective of the ongoing PhD is to understand the site formation and sediment accumulation within the cave and to derive environmental changes outside the cave from these results. Altogether, with geomorphological investigation of different archives in the area around Sodmein Cave, we get an idea of the palaeoenvironment and landscape evolution during the last 120 ka. With attention of the archaeological results, the PhD will present a integrated geoarchaeological work and a better understanding of the palaeoenvironment and landscape evolution in the Egyptian Eastern desert.
The talk will be about the most significant archives of the study area and the main methods will be discussed.

 Event Information:

Date, Time: 20/04/2015, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

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

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