Session: #217

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

Prehistoric Landscapes under the Bog: Tracing Cultural Responses to Environmental Change
The reaction of prehistoric societies to the consequences of environmental change is mostly hard to trace for archaeologists. However, when we combine different scientific analyses, field methods and the local palaeogeography, in some regions good insights are possible – and allow wider questions on this theme. In this session we want to focus on bog areas in Northern Europe that developed in the Holocene. Both coastal and inland terrain in several regions changed during this period, affecting how people used the landscape. In some places this change was very rapid, and in others more gradual, as wide areas became covered by bog and/or flooded by the sea.
Investigations on these preserved regions show that a combined evaluation of the changes in landscape and cultural responses are possible. We want to know more about ongoing or already completed research on this topic with a focus on prehistory. How do you trace archaeological features and changes in landscape use within the bog, what are your methods and what are the results? We are interested in all kinds of research approaches; from coring, botanical analysis and remote sensing to the usage of archaeological biomarkers, such as pottery lipids or bog butter analysis. The focus of papers should be your conclusions about the environmental-cultural interaction of prehistoric societies. What role did the developing bog have on choice of settlement areas, ritual practices, economic life, communication structure and networks. We welcome papers from all bog regions of Northern Europe and throughout prehistory to explore these questions.
Bog archaeology, Climatic impact, Cultural changes, Prehistoric societies, Field methods
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Anja Behrens (Germany) 1,2
Jessica Smyth (Ireland) 3
Moritz Mennenga (Germany) 1
1. Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research
2. German Archaeological Institute
3. School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Ireland