Site Catchment Analysis and Ecological Niche Modelling as tools for understanding human behaviour in the Iberian Peninsula during the Upper Palaeolithic


María de Andrés-Herrero is a PhD student in the C1 project working on Upper Paleolithic settlement history of the Iberian Peninsula. In her PhD she focuses on the site catchment analysis (SCA) of Solutrean and Magdalenian sites in Iberia, with specific attention to the lithic raw materials procurement and hunting strategies of human groups.

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Maria Andres de Herrero

Maria Andrés de Herrero, Project C1

SCA and Least Cost Paths (LCP) in combination with GIS are used to reconstruct general environmental conditions within catchments of archaeological sites in diverse geographical zones. Raw material procurement patterns of sites are compared to the extension and topographic characteristics of the catchment area. Distances, directions, raw material quality and quantity are evaluated. Quantitative data of faunal assemblages of sites and reconstructed faunal composition of their catchment areas are also evaluated by the means of Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM). The combination of both parameters allows new insight in human mobility and patterns of land use in the Iberian Peninsula during the Upper Palaeolithic. This talk will present the possible correlations between the accessibility of raw material outcrops and the density and types of raw materials in archaeological sites to understand the criteria used by hunter-gatherer groups to select the raw materials, as well as the methodology used for developing an ENM.