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Pioneers of the North: Transitions and transformations in Northern Europe evidenced by high-resolution datasets (c. 15,000-9,500 BCE)

Prof. Dr. Berit V. Eriksen, Dr. Sonja B. Grimm, Dr. Mara-Julia Weber, Sascha Krüger M.A.

The project B1 “Pioneers of the North: Transitions and transformations in Northern Europe evidenced by high-resolution datasets (c. 15,000-9,500 BCE)“ is part of the collaborative research centre (CRC) 1266 “Scales of Transformation: Human-environmental Interaction in Prehistoric and Archaic Societies“ that was accepted for funding at Kiel University by the DFG (German Research Foundation) in 2016. As part of the focus “Transformations of socio-economic formations” the project examines the first humans to resettle Northern Europe after the last glaciation.

This resettlement already began in the late Pleistocene and continued into the Holocene as people moved further north. In the first phase of the project, we will therefore focus intensely on the southwestern Baltic region. Who were those pioneers of the North? Where did they come from? How did they find their ways in the landscape? How did they adapt their behaviour to the often still changing environmental conditions?

In contrast to project B2 “Transitions of specialised foragers (c. 9,500-5,000 BCE)“ (Harald Lübke, Ulrich Schmölcke, John Meadows, Sönke Hartz, Post-Doc: Daniel Groß), colonisation processes will be particularly analysed in project B1: the adaptation of hunters and gatherers to newly discovered areas and their adaptation to partially still unstable landscapes at that time.  The projects together form the project group “complex foragers” that stands at the beginning of the time period studied by the CRC and that has its very own questions to human-environmental interactions.

Moreover, B1 collaborates with many further projects of the CRC 1266, in particular those that have a broad focus such as environmental developments, methodological criticism, and the influence of technology on social structures but also very practical projects such as geophysical surveys, computer-based simulations, and considerations about time measurements.

The project is managed by Berit V. Eriksen (PI) and run by Sonja B. Grimm (Post-Doc). She will be supported in the first project phase by a doctoral researcher who shall finish his/her PhD in close collaboration with project F2 „ Socio-environmental transformations and interdependencies “. Various ZBSA researchers and technical staff will also help make the project successful, in particular Mara Weber will be actively involved as an integral part mainly bringing in her expertise of lithic analysis.

SFB Pioneers Poster