Uni-Tübingen

B 02

Favour – Disfavour? Development of Resources in Marginal Areas

Academic discipline

Prehistory,

Geopedology

Project management

Knopf, Thomas, Prof. Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters

Abteilung Jüngere Ur- und Frühgeschichte

Schloss Hohentübingen

Burgsteige 11

72070 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 74884

E-mail: thomas.knopf@uni-tuebingen.de 

 

Kühn, Peter, Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Forschungsbereich Geographie

Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde und Geomorphologie

Rümelinstraße 19–23

72070 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 74896

E-mail: peter.kuehnspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

 

Scholten, Thomas, Prof. Dr.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Forschungsbereich Geographie

Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde und Geomorphologie

Rümelinstraße 19–23

72070 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071 29 72400

E-mail: thomas.scholtenspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

PhD candidates

and Postdocs

Höpfer, Benjamin, M.A.

SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen

Gartenstr. 29

Room 113

72074 Tübingen

Telephone: +49 7071-29 73581

E-mail: benjamin.hoepferspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

 

Scherer, Sascha, M.Sc.

SFB 1070 RessourcenKulturen

Gartenstr. 29

Room 113

72074 Tübingen

E-mail: sascha.schererspam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de

Starting from favourable areas (in the sense of landscapes with a long settlement history), the project investigates the development of resources in unfavourable areas from an archaeological and archaeopedological perspective. The research focuses on the dynamics of settlement and land use and the associated potential movements of people. Agriculture, economy, natural factors and the knowledge of the people form a specific ResourceComplex. Soil as a resource serves here as a central controlling factor. During the first phase of funding, the history of land use – based on colluvial deposits – of the three study areas (Baar, Black Forest, Swabian Alb) was correlated with a state-of-the-art settlement history. In the context of the archaeological case study, the settlement history of the three regions was compiled on the basis of 1,826 sites from the Neolithic to the High Middle Ages. The archaeopedological case study included 14 sites in the vicinity of selected archaeological sites with 57 colluvial soil profiles. These were sampled with high resolution, pedochemically analysed and dated to identify and characterise the periods of human influence on the former land surfaces. Thus, a land use history based on colluvial deposits was created and correlated with archaeological results and climate history. With regard to the colluvial deposits, land use phases with different regional weights were found on the Baar, sometimes with unexpectedly thick layers of up to 180 cm also on upper slopes. The comparison with Holocene climate data indicates a simultaneity of almost all phases of increased formation of colluvial deposits on the Baar and the beginning of cold and humid periods. However, individual sections show that precipitation does not have to be the decisive factor. From an archaeological perspective, it can also be assumed that old climate-deterministic models cannot be transferred in all parts to the present study area. The analyses show that land use and landscape perception on the Baar and adjacent natural areas also depended on cultural factors. Remarkable are deposits on the western Baar or hoard finds and sacrificial sites on the Swabian Alb, which obviously show a symbolically affected regional planning. Regions with unfavourable natural features played a central role in rituals during the Bronze Age. The pattern of finds proposes a preferred location at large rivers, which will have played an important role as transport axes for settlement dynamics of the Urnfield Period.

In the current phase of SFB 1070, project B02 is investigating favoured and disfavoured areas with modified factor constellation in order to establish an even closer and more direct relationship between settlement activity and land use or formation of colluvial deposits. The archaeological comparison of settlement dynamics with land use phases derived from colluvial deposits continues to form the basis as a proven set of analytical techniques. The general goal is the interpretation of the movement of people in and out of favourable and unfavourable areas against the background of the resource soil and the other associated resources, which are controlled by socio-cultural (e.g. economy) and natural (e.g. climate) factors in their use and perception. The contrast between favoured and disfavoured areas is differentiated and further developed: the Hegau, characterised by fertile soils and a mild climate, was an intensively populated area in prehistory and early history, is regarded as a favoured area. In relation to the Hegau, the Baar, regarded as a favoured area in the 1st phase, is less suitable for agricultural purposes. This counts also for the eastern young moraine area of Upper Swabia, a region also less favourable than the classical old settled landscapes (such as the Baar or the Central Neckar Region). In Upper Swabia, the soils, the higher elevation (i.e. low mean annual temperature) and higher precipitation form a situation less favourable for early settlement. The constellation of disfavour – favour – disfavour thus continues despite a spatial shift to the south. In comparison to the first phase, smaller areas or selected small settlement areas are now being investigated instead of large-scale landscape areas (Baar, Black Forest, Swabian Alb). This will enable a direct comparison of the Bronze Age settlement with land use and will allow deciphering small-scale movements (e.g. relocations of settlements) and, in comparison with the other investigated areas, the evaluation of more extensive settlement and de-settlement processes. In the Bronze Age, soil tillage technology was improved, and the agriculturally used area was expanded and land use intensified. With this, the possible integration of local resource complexes into broader social dynamics in southwestern Germany will be analysed. Thus, we expect, on a different level than in the first phase, findings of movements and their dynamics between favoured and disfavoured areas. Methodically, specific archaeological prospections and survey excavations as well as pedochemical and geobiochemical marker analyses (Black Carbon, B5CA/B6CA) on colluvial deposits will be applied. In the second phase, the resource complex consisting of settlement, management, soil knowledge, perception of erosion, climate and soil is to be further developed. Additionally, a closer cooperation with ethnology is planned with regard to the compilation and analogous evaluation of ethnopedological studies.

How Soil Creates Knowledge

A film with Prof. Dr. Thomas Scholten and Sascha Scherer

Soil scientific studies about how soil developed into a resource of central importance for our understanding of history and present times: in which way does the soil of a landscape develop naturally and how does human interference change these processes?

Geo-scientific analyses allow insights into the former and recent ways of the use of soil.

To see the film, please click here