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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 158.12K | Year: 2017

The Project Mediterranean Coastal Resources: benefits and constraints for Prehistoric hunters-gatherers aims to investigate how Mediterranean coastal ecosystems and climatic changes over the last 19,000 years have affected settlement and subsistence patterns during the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. Studying past human adaptation in coastal zones is a key research topic to understand processes of economic intensification and human resilience to environmental change. We propose to reconstruct the evolution of coastal landscapes around a well-known Mesolithic settlement area through the multi-proxy analysis of sediment cores of Pego lagoon (Gulf of Valencia, Spain). The objectives are: (a) the reconstruction of environmental changes through geomorphological, sedimentological and geochemical analysis and fossils of aquatic fauna in a well-constrain chronology, (b) the identification of vegetation cover changes through the analysis of pollen, spore and charcoal, which are linked to climatic change and human land-use, (c) the reconstruction of the frequency of storm surge marine events using sedimentological analysis, and (d) the evaluation of ecosystems services and vulnerability to human pressures through a comparison of the inferred palaeoenvironmental dynamics with archaeological datasets from the same study area. The hosting laboratory IPHES (University Rovira i Virgili, Spain) is the ideal institutional environment to develop the proposed research during the course of the fellowship and beyond. The researcher will be integrated within, and trained, in a strong collaborative and multidisciplinary network. This fellowship will reinforce the research experience, transferrable skills and audience and outreach of the candidate, and will thus be crucial for her future career.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2016

The aim of this project is to investigate patterns of population history and cultural transmission from the Late Magdalenian to the Late Mesolithic (c.15,000-8,000 cal BP) in South-western Europe. This period witnessed major environmental changes and cultural transformations on settlement distribution, technology and social organisation. Our project specifically addresses two major inter-related research topics: Firstly, to what extent demographic behaviour was driven by environmental factors; and secondly, how did regional population patterns influence cultural transmission processes. This project develops a new, multi-scale, methodological approach to study population patterns and cultural change between the Late Magdalenian and the Late Mesolithic in the Iberian Peninsula. First, at a local scale, our project will combine new empirical data obtained at open-air residential sites with well dated multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental reconstructions to understand the impact of climate change and hydrological stress on human settlement areas. Then, we will reconstruct population patterns at 4 different Iberian regional units analysing summed probabilities of radiocarbon date distributions from a new audited radiocarbon database. Finally, we will conduct computational network analysis at a macro-regional scale to identify how diachronic variations on hunter-gatherer settlement networks affected the transmission of cultural traits and the spread of technological innovations. With this multi-step interdisciplinary approach, we aim to provide a chronological-secure framework and spatially explicit context for the interpretation of population history, cultural change, and resilience to environmental changes through from the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition to the Middle Holocene in Iberia.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 158.12K | Year: 2015

REAPPAST will investigate site formation processes from a new perspective casting light on socio-technical organisation and the relations between group size and complex skills, which are the focus of current scientific debate on Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, addressing two questions: 1) How did the socio-economic organisation reflect itself in the spatial and temporal organisation of technical activities in Palaeolithic residential camps? 2) Which was the group size in single occupation areas, and with which palaeodemographic implications? Specifically multidisciplinary analysis of lithic assemblages from two sites in N-E Spain will be used to investigate occupation areas in a Neanderthal and a Sapiens community, and to test hypotheses on number of co-residents on the basis of spatio-temporal relation between functional areas and number of single productive events carried out within these areas. REAPPAST will exploit the remarkable expertise of IPHES, which is a world-leading group in high-resolution approach. Methods will include RMU analysis, refits, experimental archaeology, spatial and computational modeling, the combination of which constitutes an innovative strategy. Two secondments will allow me to reach the highest competencies in experimentation (Universit de Bordeaux) and in point pattern analysis (University College of London). REAPPAST will 1) improve my formation with diversified and new training skills to reach a mature scientific position and open new perspectives of career; 2) extend the international network and visibility of both me and the host institutions through international and inter-sectoral mobility and peer-reviewed publications; 3) bring important benefits to the European research, deepening our knowledge on hunter-gatherer socio-economic strategies in the Late Pleistocene; 4) bring social impact promoting the relevance of research in Prehistory in local schools, in public events and in European museums.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2014-EF | Award Amount: 158.12K | Year: 2016

From around 25 to 20 thousand years ago, most of northern Europe was covered by ice and humans retreated into refuges in the warmer southern territories. The archaeological record of the Western European Late Pleistocene clearly indicates a refuge encompassing the areas of Cantabria, in northern Spain, and Aquitaine, in southern France. Both archaeological and genetics evidence agrees that it was from this Franco-Cantabrian refuge that Western Europe was repopulated in several phases starting at around nineteen thousand years ago. As pioneer groups expanded their ranges into previously uninhabited northern territories, Late Glacial hunter-gatherers had a unique opportunity to engineer their evolving ecosystem or niche. According to the Niche Construction paradigm such practices deeply change the selective pressures of that niche on its populations, both human and non-human, thus affecting not only cultural transmission, but also biological/genetical transmission: a triple inheritance model. The LaGRangE project proposes to study the Late Glacial hunter-gatherer range expansions, and the role of Niche Construction in these. This will be achieved by an interdisciplinary approach to the problem applying established Computer Science methods to archaeological data. Firstly Niche Construction triple-inheritance models will be modelled to understand how niche construction affects the dispersal dynamics of a given population. This new understanding will then be used to model the Late Glacial dispersal of humans out of the Franco-Cantabrian refuge, on a biogeographically realistic domain. This approach will help identify routes, preferred habitats and other dispersal choices taken by the expanding groups.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IEF | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IEF | Award Amount: 166.34K | Year: 2014

The proposed project investigates three relevant, inter-related and multidisciplinary topics on Western Mediterranean Prehistory: 1) The paleoenvironmental context of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Eastern Iberia 2) The effects of environmental stress to prehistoric communities and their resilience to short-term climate changes and 3) The anthropogenic impact of the first agricultural and husbandry systems on landscape (7500-4000 cal BP). To achieve these goals, the candidate and the host institution have designed a project that will integrate new multi-proxy paleoenvironmental data from two lake deposits in the Upper Vinalop Valley (Eastern Spain) with direct archaeological information from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites from the same area. Through the multi-proxy analysis of the two lake cores, the candidate will be trained in the application of new analytical procedures (micro-charcoal analysis, pine stomata identification, XRF, DXR) and will adapt her previous skills (Loss on Ignition, Pollen and Phytolith analysis) to a new geographic context. The proposed research will enhance the candidates capabilities to integrate palaeoecological and archaeological evidence, a step which is decisive to promote her scientific leadership and career development.

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