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EPHA - European prehistoric and historic atlas

 project animation

EPHA is a project of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA) aiming to provide base maps for different prehistoric timeframes (see workgroup). While the maps are compilations from available literature and data, their main purpose is to act as overview maps. Thus incorporating and harmonizing existing data is the main purpose.  The maps are prepared as vectorized and georeferenced files that are easily incorporated into Geo-Information Systems. All relevant information, like references or sources, are provided with the files so that the origin of data remains clear and citeable. Thus, easy and straightforward use is guaranteed. They are published under a Creative Commons license (CC-BY 4.0) for free use. 

Each map is available in two versions: 

1. vectorised shapefiles including landmasses, oceans, and ice shields

2. an overview of the source data.



The project is open for further refinement and contributions. Therefore we encourage colleagues to provide higher resolution data for certain areas or engage in discussions for improving the maps. Preferably we are interested in published maps.

Until we have established an open format for discussions, please get into contact with us by e-mail:

Version control

EPHA is constantly in development and refinement. Hence it is highly recommended to note the version of a respective map used.


Since EPHA is a compilation from various sources, different copyrights may appear. Therefore it is mandatory to cite the respective literature if you use maps or parts of them. EPHA maps are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit

CC-BY 4.0


Currently available maps

These maps are currently available:

Last Glacial Maximum



Dryas III

Early Preboreal

Late Preboreal

Early Boreal

Late Boreal



Available additional data

 The following datasets are also available:

Drainage Systems

Planned future developments:
  • add the following timeslices:
    • 7200 cal BC (Early Atlantic)
    • 3500 cal BC 
    • 1000 cal BC 
    • 1 AD 
    • 1000 AD
  • additional large lakes 
  • expand the map section further south 



Ruth Blankenfeldt

Karin Göbel (project leader)

Sonja Grimm (project leader)

Daniel Groß (project leader)

Sascha Krüger

Jörg Nowotny

Markus Wild

Katja Winkler 


Kay Krienke
Benjamin Serbe
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