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Interpreting gaps: A geoarchaeological point of view on the Gravettian record of Ach and Lone valleys (Swabian Jura, SW Germany)

Barbieri, Alvise and Bachofer, Felix and Schmaltz, Elmar M. and Leven, Carsten and Conard, Nicholas J. and Miller, Christopher E. (2021) Interpreting gaps: A geoarchaeological point of view on the Gravettian record of Ach and Lone valleys (Swabian Jura, SW Germany). Journal of Archaeological Science, 127, e105335. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2021.105335. ISSN 0305-4403.

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Unlike other Upper Paleolithic industries, Gravettian assemblages from the Swabian Jura are documented solely in the Ach Valley (35-30 Kcal BP). On the other hand, traces of contemporaneous occupations in the nearby Lone Valley are sparse. It is debated whether this gap is due to a phase of human depopulation, or taphonomic issues related with landscape changes. In this paper we present ERT, EC-logging and GPR data showing that in both Ach and Lone valleys sediments and archaeological materials eroded from caves and deposited above river incisions after 37-32 Kcal BP. We argued that the rate of cave erosion was higher after phases of downcutting, when hillside erosion was more intensive. To investigate on the causes responsible for the dearth of Gravettian materials in the Lone Valley we test two alternative hypotheses: i) Gravettian humans occupied less intensively this part of the Swabian Jura. ii) Erosion of cave deposits did not occur at the same time in the two valleys. We conclude that the second hypothesis is most likely. Ages from the Lone Valley show increasing multimillennial gaps between 36 and 18 Kcal BP, while a similar gap is present in the Ach Valley between 28 and 16 Kcal BP. Based on geoarchaeological data from previous studies and presented in this paper, we interpreted these gaps in radiocarbon data as indicating of cave erosion. Furthermore, we argued that the time difference across the two valleys show that the erosion of cave deposits began and terminated earlier in the Lone Valley, resulting in a more intensive removal of Gravettian-aged deposits. The hypothesis that cave erosion was triggered by regional landscape changes seems to be supported by geochronological data from the Danube Valley, which show that terrace formation at the end of the Pleistocene moved westwards throughout southern Germany with a time lag of few millennia.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/141244/
Document Type:Article
Title:Interpreting gaps: A geoarchaeological point of view on the Gravettian record of Ach and Lone valleys (Swabian Jura, SW Germany)
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Barbieri, AlviseUniversity of AlgarveUNSPECIFIED
Bachofer, FelixFelix.Bachofer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6181-0187
Schmaltz, Elmar M.Federal Agency for Water Management, Institute for Land and Water Management Research, Petzenkirchen, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Leven, CarstenCenter for Applied Geoscience, Hydrogeology, University of Tübingen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Conard, Nicholas J.Institute for Archaeological Sciences (INA), University of Tübingen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Miller, Christopher E.Institute for Archaeological Sciences (INA), University of Tübingen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:March 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Archaeological Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/j.jas.2021.105335
Page Range:e105335
Keywords:Hiatus, Pleistocene, Paleolithic archaeology, Geoarchaeology, Danube, Swabian Jura, Gravettian, ERTEC-Logging, GPR
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Remote Sensing and Geo Research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface Dynamics
Deposited By: Bachofer, Dr. Felix
Deposited On:08 Mar 2021 14:52
Last Modified:08 Mar 2021 14:52

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