Sedimentological and computer-based investigations on fluvial dynamics within the Ethiopian Highlands

svenja_meyer_blog_ethopia Ethiopia constitutes several unique research sites for understanding human response to environmental change during the Late Quaternary. Diverse environments were created by interacting tectonic and climate regimes and discovery of numerous archaeological records give reason for geoarchaeological research on caves, rockshelters, and surrounding landscapes. Mochena Borago Rockshelter is under study for Late Pleistocene to Holocene occupation of anatomically modern humans and builds the chronological framework for integration of Later Stone Age (LSA) and Middle Stone Age (MSA) assemblages within the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands. 10 km east of Mochena Borago, areas affected by gully erosion at Bisare River site have exposed obsidian raw material outcrops and archaeological (LSA, MSA) assemblages.

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Svenja Meyer, PhD Candidate in X1.

Svenja Meyer, PhD Candidate in A1.

Sedimentological and GIS-based drainage system and geomorphological analyses are conducted to understand actual and ancient fluvial dynamics and archaeological preservation within the catchment of Bisare River in order to reconstruct ancient landscapes. Together with Mochena Borago and Bisare River in the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands, investigations at site Dendi Lake in the central Ethiopian Highlands on archaeological assemblages of all Stone Age periods are carried out. Therefore, the Dendi caldera complex is under study for GIS-based and sedimentological geomorphological mapping and hydrological analyses of the lake in- and outflow for paleoenvironmental reconstruction.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 27/06/2016, 14:45 h – 15:30 h

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

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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.


Introduction to GIS


Instructor: Dr. Andreas Bolten (Project Z2)

Dr. Andreas Bolten

Dr. Andreas Bolten, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne

Every geographical dataset is a combination of location and attribute data. However, the location can be understood as one individual attribute of a dataset. Different data formats or data models are available to optimize data storage and/or analyze speed.

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