Uni-Tübingen

B 01

Variability of the Use of Resources. Spatial Exploitation by Late Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans in Europe

Academic discipline

Prehistory,

Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie

Project Management

Floss, Harald, Prof. Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters

Abteilung Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie

Schloss Hohentübingen

Burgsteige 11

72070 Tübingen

telephone: +49 7071 29 78916

e-mail: harald.floss@uni-tuebingen.de

 

Conard, Nicholas John, Prof. Ph.D.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters

Abteilung Ältere Urgeschichte und Quartärökologie

Schloss Hohentübingen

Burgsteige 11

72070 Tübingen

telephone: +49 7071 29 72416

e-mail: nicholas.conardspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

PhD candidates
and Postdocs

Kitagawa, Keiko, Dr.

Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters

Schloss Hohentübingen

Burgsteige 11

72070 Tübingen

telephone: +49 7071-29-72417

e-mail: keiko.kitagawaspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

 

Seitz, Recha, M.A.

SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen

Raum 315

Gartenstr. 29

72074 Tübingen

telephone: +49 7071 29 73595

e-mail: recha.seitzspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Project B01 is centred on strategies of resource use and spatial appropriation of late Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe. The time when Homo Sapiens migrated into Europe and met with indigenous Neanderthals can be considered a decisive point in human history. Focussing on the use of resources the project explores vertically continuities and changes in human behaviour and horizontally the related strategies of appropriation of spaces. There will be two case studies: southern Burgundy and the Swabian Jura. Both regions are connected to each other by the river systems of Danube, Rhine and Rhône. While the use of lithic raw-materials for the production of stone tools was the subject during the first phase of funding, the second phase will focus on the resource ‘animals’. With identical geographical and chronological premises in both study areas it will be possible to test the results about movements and developments previously obtained and to find out whether the resource ‘animal’ was subject to different dynamics. For Ice Age humans Pleistocene fauna is a ResourceComplex. Besides the obvious aspects of hunting and nutrition with the use and processing of meat, blood, intestines, bone marrow and fat, also the bones, horns, antlers, ivory, fur, guts and sinews were used for a multitude of purposes in the production of tools, garments or dwellings. Not least, raw-material obtained from animals, like antler or ivory, was used for the creation of sculptured or incised artefacts, thus belonging to the sphere of art and symbolism (for example see the ivory figurines from the Swabian Jura). The symbolic elevation of objects made from animal retrieved raw-materials may create intangible values from the tangible resource ‘animal’. We work on the hypothesis of predominantly animistic hunter/gatherer societies and their holistic view of the world, without our modern distinction of nature and culture. In this advanced phase of our project we intend to investigate how the relationship between man and animal in Palaeolithic can be understood and if and to what extend, apart from the everyday use of animals by humans, both could have functioned as congenial partners in a spiritual sense already in the steppes of the Ice Age. To this purpose the project is intensifying its critical examination of hunter/gatherer theories and fundamental discussions of the relationship between human and animal seen as a resource assemblage. In its basic work the methodical approach of project B01 combines archaeozoological with typological analyses of objects made from faunal raw-materials from Late Middle and Early Late Palaeolithic sites of both study regions. Comparative examination of artefacts, radiometric dating and pilot studies about the chemical composition of raw-materials are used to identify continuities and changes in human behaviour, as well as processes of diffusion such as movements and migrations. A special interest is in the question whether the transition from Neanderthals to Homo Sapiens went along with a re-valuation of the resource ‘animal’. The figurines of men, animals and hybrid creatures, unknown in the period of Neanderthals but present in the Aurignacien seem to be evidence for such a process. Another important aspect is to find out how climatic changes and – even more – anthropogenic impact did change the ResourceComplex fauna: did the use of the resource ‘animal’ change the resource itself and then in turn lead to changes in prehistoric societies?