Session: #169

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Periodicity and Cyclicity in Prehistoric Practice as Seen in Waterlogged Contexts
Due to preservation conditions, waterlogged sites allow an exceptional high-resolution perspective into temporal processes. The records show patterns of human practice with a regular, repetitive character, which may be seasonal, or may include longer term cycles. Specifically the relevant practices concern for instance dwelling relocation, agricultural, herding and foraging activities. While climatic circumstances may be a major driving factor for periodic and cyclical shifts, social factors are also likely to play a role.

The aim of the session is to discuss periodic and cyclical practices that are evident in the archaeological findings as a phenomenon in itself, and to provide an overview of the diversity of the practices and different rhythms. On the other hand, methodical approaches for recognising these temporalities using on- and off-site data should be in the foreground. A broader aim is to assess the significance of periodically and cyclically organized practices within prehistoric reality.

Case studies from international prehistoric wetland archeology, in particular featuring interdisciplinary interfaces with botany, zoology, geology, climatology, ecology, geography and ethnography, are welcome.
wetland archaeology, waterlogged sites, time – periodicity – cyclicity, seasonality, subsistence economy, interdisciplinary methodology
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Ariane Ballmer (Switzerland) 1
Amy Bogaard (United Kingdom) 2
Albert Hafner (Switzerland) 1
1. University of Bern, Institute of Archaeological Sciences & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research
2. University of Oxford, School of Archaeology