Challenges in Palaeolithic Spatial Archaeology: Two Eurasian Case Studies

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2023-10-31
Source: Human History and Digital Future : Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Archäologie
DDC Classifikation: 930 - History of ancient world to ca. 499
Keywords: Archäologie , Paläolithikum , Geoinformationssystem
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Palaeolithic applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are increasingly common, however, theoretical discussion specifically addressing issues of Palaeolithic GIS is practically non-existent. In this paper, we argue that such a discussion is necessary because Palaeolithic applications of GIS are subject to unique conditions and challenges. We specifically highlight the issues of data quality, the vast spatio-temporal scale, and the difficulty of interpreting patterns of hominin behaviour in relation to the first two conditions. We illustrate and discuss these problems as they related to our own doctoral projects, studying Lower Palaeolithic dispersal and occupation first in Central Asia and then in the Aegean (NE Mediterranean). We discuss the methodological approaches we took in tackling the major topics of our study regions, and identify several commonalities in the difficulties we faced implementing them. In concluding, we define three ‘challenges’ of Palaeolithic GIS, and three ‘temptations’ arising out of those challenges.

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