Reconstruction of palaeoenvironmental conditions during OIS 3 and OIS 2 in the Middle and Lower Rhine area using a multi-proxy approach
With important clusters of Paleolithic sites that connect Eastern and Western Europe, the Rhineland favours the investigation of early dispersals of anatomically modern humans into Central Europe. The basis for new analytical approaches in the understanding of the relationship between environmental change and human behaviour is a robust geo-arechaeological chronology. In the Middle and Lower Rhine area, high resolution loess-palaeosol-sequences can be combined with archaeological sites covering the time periods of the first colonization of Europe by early moderns during the Interpleniglacial as well as the resettlement of Central Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum. The applied multi proxy approach combines geomorphological-pedological methods, sedimentological and geochemical analyses as well as luminescence dating. Preliminary results of the loess-palaeosol-sequences of the key sites Düsseldorf-Grafenberg and Remagen-Schwalbenberg will be presented. The composition of grain sizes reflects different transport processes and indicates the formation and development degree of interstadial soils. In addition, multi element contents and derived ratios facilitate an approximate age classification of the loess strata and provide correlations to weathering intensities respectively. In combination with high resolution OSL-dating the analysed key sites deliver essential geomorphological and stratigraphical background for a geoscientific interpretation of archaeological sites in the Middle and Lower Rhine area. The investigations are part of the Project “Analysis of migration processes due to environmental conditions between 40,000 and 14,000 a BP in the Rhine-Meuse area” which is intergrated in the Collaborative Research Center 806 “Our Way to Europe – Culture-Environment Interaction and Human Mobility in the Late Quaternary” founded by the German Science Foundation (DFG).
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