Prehistoric wooded Environment and wood economy in Northern Central Europe, investigated by archaeo- and geoanthracological methods

PhD projekt Dipl. Biol. Doris Jansen

pictureIn this project, (1) wood usage, (2) woodland-management and (3) the wooded environment is investigated for the Mesolithic up to the Bronze Age for selected archaeological sites in Northern Germany, by using wood charcoals. The analysis of charred wood from different contexts like on-site (archaeological) and off-site (soil/soil-sediment) and the combination of both shows new aspects of natural forest composition, impacts of humans on forest composition and wood use practice in former times. The time span from the onset of cultural landscapes towards first transition periods, the period from Mesolithic until Bronze Age (Atlantic – Subboreal) is selected for comparison: in times of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherer culture, wood was used mainly for firewood but also for tool and weapon production. With the upcoming of peasant cultures in the Neolithic fixed settlements established and in their surroundings the wood usage was intensified. Now the woodlands were additionally exploited for construction timber. During the Bronze Age wood was further used for the production of bronze objects. This is resulting in an intensifying usage and thereby possibly change of the landscape.