The tell in the woods?

Woodland-management and social differentiation of wood use at tell-sites in SE Europe and in Turkey

PhD project Tim Schroedter

The project aims at reconstructing the strategies of woodland management developed by tell-inhabiting societies. In many areas of south-eastern Europe only a few archaeobotanical investigations have been carried out for the neolithic and chalcolithic periods. Especially the lack of polliniferous sediments, traditionally used for reconstructing past environments, makes it necessary to use other sources of palaeobotanical research. The results of several charcoal investigations (Marinova u. Thiebault 2008, Schroedter unpubl.) having taken place in the last years demonstrate the need for further investigation of woodland-management strategies in the study area. Several Tells and settlements belonging to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in South-Eastern Europe and Turkey will be investigated for their wood-use and resource management. By means of wood charcoal investigations the outlines of human impact on the landscape will be detected. Due to the possibility of cooperation with pedologists involved in the Graduate School (Dr. S. Dreibrodt) it is possible to sample quantitatively colluvial layers in large profiles. Therefore a comparison of on-site and off-site analyses will account for the degree of wood-selection and the natural composition of the vegetation in the sourroundings of the investigated settlements. The following hypotheses will be investigated at the different sites:

  • there is a social differentiation of buildings within the settlements according to the use of woody species
  • a management of the wooden resources took place
  • pomaceous fruits play an important role in this woodland due to human interference
  •  there are differences between the settlements in one settlement area according to the used wood