PhD presentation by Jonathan Schoenenberg


Date(s) - 30/11/2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


The Geopal Project:
Modelling Landscape Accessibility and Physiotope Diversity in the Upper Palaeolithic

by Jonathan Schoenenberg,
University of Cologne

The exploitation of landscapes and the movement through them plays a central role in the understanding of prehistoric subsistence strategies. To determine which areas were frequented, the catchments of prehistoric sites can be modelled. The extent of these accessible areas is fundamentally influenced by topography and land-cover. Furthermore, these catchments determine the landscape and the resources therein which potentially were available to hunter-gatherers. Besides their size, it is necessary to describe the landscape within each catchment. The measure for landscape haracteristics used in this study is the diversity of landforms. As a high level of diversity in the landscape provides different habitats, it leads to a high potential for biodiversity. However, it is necessary to contextualize the diversity within a site catchment with the general diversity of the surrounding landscape to gain a complete picture of the choices, made by prehistoric foragers (Fig.).

By measuring the extent of the catchments and their landform compositions, two values are obtained to evaluate Upper Palaeolithic land use, allowing for the comparison on different regional and chronological scales.

This talk aims to give insight into methodological aspects of the modelling approach, as well as presenting preliminary results.