Dr. Inga Kretschmer

Dissertation Title

Demography of Hunters and Gatherers in the Late Upper Palaeolithic in Europe

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmermann
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Gerd-Christian Weniger, Prof Dr. Thorsten Uthmeier


This PhD-project investigated the demography of Late Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer populations, when Europe was repopulated after the Last Glacial Maximum. The study deals with estimations of regional differentiated population densities and associated settlement patterns.

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A method based on GIS techniques is used to upscale archaeological data from key sites and regions to culturally homogenous contextual areas in Europe.

Based on the spatial density of Late Upper Palaeolithic sites, GIS-calculated regions are interpreted as indicators for settlement areas of Magdalenian and Hamburgian hunter-gatherer groups. The origin of raw materials from key sites indicates the seasonal or annual range of forager groups. Size relation of settlement area and raw material catchments is an indication for the number of hunter-gatherer groups in a region. Ethnographic records relating to hunter-gatherer societies practicing similar subsistence strategies as Magdalenian foragers are taken to reconstruct the size of prehistoric groups. These results are checked by control parameters like on-site information about settlement sizes, duration of stay and seasonality. The outcome of observing the changes and movements of population during the time period of Late Upper Palaeolithic as well as comparing the differences and similarities of regional differentiated population densities is a further contribution to our understanding of settlement patterns and migration indicators of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer in Europe.



2008 – 2014: Ph.D. student at the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne.

2007: M.A. in Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne.

Thesis title: Transformationsanalyse der Steinartefakte aus Schicht 7 A/B (Unit II) von Kabazi II – Ein Inventar des späten Mittelpaläolithikums von der Halbinsel Krim (Ukraine)

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. J. Richter

2001 – 2007: Studies of Prehistoric Archaeology, Archaeology of the Roman Provinces and Computer Science for the Humanities at the University of Cologne.


Field Work

2010: Participation at geomorphhological and archaeological investigations at Palaeolithic sites in Romania.



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