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GEOPAL - Geotope reconstruction and Bioeconomic Potential in Palaeolithic site territories

PI: Dr. Florian Sauer

Based on the methodology of landform-based biodiversity modelling, which was developed in the project "GIS-based reconstructions of Late Paleolithic land use patterns of the Northeast-Bavarian low mountain range", this research aims to the analysis of organic resource potential in the territories of Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic sites on a European scale. The approach allows for the extensive evaluation of bioeconomic potential, independent from archaeological site-data (faunal data, charcoal or pollen profiles), even in areas where no archaeological sites are known. This way, regional patterns can be identified and insights into the respective land use pattern can be gained. An important role plays the accessibility of the site’s periphery. It is strongly determined by the local topography and ground cover and profoundly influences the economic opportunities that can be exploited by Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer groups. The goal of this project is the synchronous and diachronic comparison of the economic conditions and the landscape-accessibility from the Aurigancian to the Mesolithic.