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

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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.

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A comparison of rock art site distribution in the North and South of Iberia during the Solutrean and Magdalenian

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Viviane Bolin is a PhD student in the C1 project working on Upper Paleolithic settlement history of the Iberian Peninsula.

The settlement history of the Iberian Peninsula during the Upper Palaeolithic was influenced by diverse geographic and climatic conditions. An increase of site density from the early to the late Upper Palaeolithic can be observed – with a higher concentration of sites in the northern regions and in coastal areas of the Peninsula, while the interior and the southern areas were sparsely populated. Only the Solutrean period displays a similar number of human settlement sites in the North and South, as well as an increase of sites in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula (Schmidt et al. 2012).

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Viviane Bolin, Project C1

Viviane Bolin, Project C1

According to literature, a comparable pattern is visible for the distribution of rock art sites. During most of the Upper Palaeolithic periods mainly the northern and coastal areas show a greater artistic expression than the South or the interior of the Iberian Peninsula – with one exception during the Solutrean when an explosion of rock art sites can also be observed in the southern and interior regions (Bicho et al. 2007).

Does a correlation between demographic and artistic expansion exist? To answer this question, a diachronic and spatial analysis of rock art and occupation sites during the Solutrean and Magdalenian in different regions of Iberia will be carried out. Mapping and interpolation of the data with Kernel Density Estimation could reveal changes in site distribution and frequency. This spatio-temporal multivariate approach furthermore provides estimates of relative population densities and reconstructs land-use patterns (Grove 2011).

The objective of this analysis is to determine demographic and artistic centres of human settlements and show the diffusion and mobility of the hunter-gatherer groups during the later periods of the Upper Palaeolithic. Thus, a cross check between different time periods (Solutrean and Magdalenian), different regions of Iberian Peninsula (North and South) and spatial (settlement) and cultural data (art) is possible.

Date, Time: 30/05/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

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

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Las Tablas de Daimiel (Spain): water, climate and people

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Juan Santisteban

Dr. Juan Santisteban
Department of Stratigraphy of the
Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)

Juan I. Santisteban (Santi) is Lecturer at the Department of Stratigraphy of the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and Rosa Mediavilla is researcher at the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME). Both are sedimentologists and stratigraphers specialized in terrestrial deposits (fluvial and lacustrine) and interested in the integration of multiproxy data in the interpretation of terrestrial basins.

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Models on adaptive strategies of hunter-gatherers derived from the analysis of lithic tools

Schmidt_Banner_nConcepts and methods applied to Solutrean points from Iberia

 Isabell Schmidt Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, African Archaeology, University of Cologne, Germany

Dr. des. Isabell Schmidt
Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, African Archaeology, University of Cologne, Germany

Archaeological research has developed numerous approaches to trace past human behaviour and its ability to adapt to different or changing environmental and social conditions. Although differences and changes are generally perceived on very broad temporal and spatial scales in prehistory, methods applied to archaeological remains frequently operate on local, momentary scales.

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