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Project C2

Early Holocene Contacts between Africa and Europe and their Palaeoenvironmental Context

Principal Investigators: H. Brückner, G.-C. Weniger

The project focuses on human contacts between Africa and Europe in the Western Mediterranean. Even though both continents are only separated by a few kilometres, current research suggests phases of continuity as well as discontinuity regarding intercontinental contacts. A period of intensive communication and mobility is the early Holocene. The project deals with the Epipalaeolithic-Neolithic-Transition, intercontinental networks and the impact of African developments on the process of Neolithisation in Southwest Europe. Special attention is dedicated to the role of environmental and climate change within this process.

The early Holocene of the Western Mediterranean is a period of dramatic cultural change. New patterns of subsistence emerge at the transition from the Epipalaeolithic to the Neolithic. The project focuses on the development of food-producing groups on both sides of the Mediterranean, their intercontinental connections, adaptation to different habitats as well as the effect of climate and environmental change on prehistoric land use.

In the Western Mediterranean, Epipalaeolithic groups played an important role in the transitional process. They are an element of continuity in our research area. Different models explain how these indigenous groups adopted technological innovations from Neolithic pioneers. Latter groups represent an element of discontinuity and are probably the source for most of the recorded cultural innovations. The appearance of different ceramic styles and subsistence strategies is the result of ethnic diversity and adaptations to different environments. The distribution of cardium (Franco-Iberian style) and noncardium impressed pottery excludes each other in the South of the Iberian Peninsula as well as in Northwest-Africa. A comparison of pottery distribution to bioclimatic zones displays a patterning of Cardial ceramics connected to subhumid and non-Cardial ceramics connected to semiarid conditions. Recent investigations in semiarid Morocco indicate that contacts within these bioclimatic zones were closer, even via the Mediterranean Sea, than to neighbouring areas of a different environmental setting. The patterning of these transcontinental networks seems crucial to us for the understanding of the neolithisation process in the Western Mediterranean as a whole. These new results cast a new light, and thus attention, on the African influences upon Southwest Europe.

At the same time, radiocarbon data of archaeological sites from Morocco show significant correlation with climate events like Bölling, Alleröd and Younger Dryas and the onset of the Holocene. The same is true to shifts in humidity, indicated by the variation of Saharan dust in Atlantic marine records. Oscillation of radiocarbon data may indicate fluctuations of human occupation. The project intends to analyse the pattern behind this process using archaeological data in combination with environmental data from archaeological sites, terrestrial archives (fluvial, limnic) and marine records. Furthermore, investigations of terrestrial archives will test the distribution of semiarid and subhumid zones at the time of Epipalaeolithic-Neolithic-transition.

 

The CRC 806 thanks the following co-operation partners for their efforts:

  • Abdessalam Mikdad, Abdessalam Amarir, Habiba Atki, Mustapha Nami
    Ministère de la Culture du Maroc (INSAP)
  • Josef Eiwanger
    Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (KAAK
  • Juan Francisco Gibaja Bao
    CSIC Barcelona, Spain, use wear analysis (Ifri Oudadane, Hassi Ouenzga, Mtlili, Ifri n'Etsedda)
  • Oriol Vicente Campos
    Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, study of Early Neolithic pottery (Ifri n'Etsedda)
  • Lydia Zapata, Monica Ruiz
    University of Bilbao, Spain, Anthracology (Ifri Oudadane)
  • Leonor Pena-Chocarro, Guillem Perez
    CSIC, Madrid, Spain, Archaeobotany, seeds (Ifri Oudadane, Ifri n'Etsedda, Moulouya)
  • Juan Antonio Lopez Saez
    CSIC, Madrid, Spain, Pollen (Ifri Oudadane, Ifri n'Etsedda)
  • Amelia Rodriguez Rodriguez
    use wear analysis (Ifri Oudadane, Hassi Ouenzga, Mtlili, Ifri n'Etsedda)
  • Jacob Morales-Mateo
    Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Archaeobotany, seeds (Ifri Oudadane, Ifri n'Etsedda, Moulouya)
  • Rainer Hutterer
    Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig Bonn, Malacology, Archaeozoology (Ifri Oudadane, Ifri n'Etsedda)
  • Katleen Deckers
    University Tübingen, Germany, Anthracology (Moulouya)

 

 

1st Phase - Research Programme
  2nd Phase - Research Programme
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1st Phase - Posters presented at international Congresses & Workshops
   
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2nd Phase - Posters presented at international Congresses & Workshops
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Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS) in caves of Moroc...

Terrestrial LiDAR Scanning (TLS) in caves of Morocco

During a field campaign in spring 2010, Terrestrial LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) was used in different limestone caves in n...

Archaeological excavations in Ifri Oudadane, NE-Mo...

Archaeological excavations in Ifri Oudadane, NE-Morocco, 2011

Fieldwork undertaken in 2011 at Ifri Oudadane was – for the time being – the last campaign at this site. Four field seasons (2006,...

Archaeological surveys at the littoral west of the...

Archaeological surveys at the littoral west of the Melilla Peninsula, NE-Morocco, 2011

The Mediterranean littoral west of the Melilla Peninsula and the mountainous hinterland is a very extensive territory. Archaeologi...

Oldest crops in Africa from NE-Morocco

Oldest crops in Africa from NE-Morocco

Oldest crops in Africa from NE-Morocco Our research at coastal sites of NE-Morocco has also included investigations of incipient a...

Micromorphology proves the penning of domesticated...

Micromorphology proves the penning of domesticated sheep and goat in Moroccan Early Neolithic deposits during the middle of the 8th millennium calBP

The coastal site of Ifri Oudadane is one of the most important sites in the Mediterranean Maghreb. Recent excavations have provide...

Determination of snails from the archaeological de...

Determination of snails from the archaeological deposits of Ifri n'Etsedda ("Lions Cave") NE-Morocco

Museum Koenig, Bonn (07.–09.12.2012) The 2012 spring campaign of sub-project C2 in Ifri n'Etsedda, NE-Morocco yielded an enormous...

Geographical on- and off-site studies in the Easte...

Geographical on- and off-site studies in the Eastern Rif, NE Morocco

In the framework of a cooperation with the archaeologists in charge of the Ifri n'Ammar cave excavations (Dr. Josef Eiwanger, Dr....

Excavations in Ifri n'Etsedda ("Lions Cave&qu...

Excavations in Ifri n'Etsedda ("Lions Cave"), NE-Morocco

The 2012 spring campaign of sub-project C2 was dedicated to the excavation of Ifri n'Etsedda, NE-Morocco. Discovered in 2008, the...

Last excavation campaign at the Epipalaeolithic–Ne...

Last excavation campaign at the Epipalaeolithic–Neolithic site of Ifri n’Etsedda, Morocco

Between February and April 2014, the archaeological team of the C2 project carried out the third and last excavation campaign at t...

Stones, Pottery, Dust, and Couscous

Stones, Pottery, Dust, and Couscous

From 18th until 22nd of November 2014, two archaeologists of project C2 (Jörg Linstädter and Alessandro Potì, both University of C...

Science Day in the Neander Valley

Science Day in the Neander Valley

The Neanderthal Museum at Mettmann near Düsseldorf invited the members of the C-Cluster to the first "Science Day" on November 16t...

Moraine formations and speleothem records in north...

Moraine formations and speleothem records in northeastern Morocco

In August 2014, the C2 members Dr. Gilles Rixhon and Melanie Bartz undertook a second field trip to Morocco with the aim of sampli...

2015 Excavation at Ifri El Baroud, the Gunpowder’s...

2015 Excavation at Ifri El Baroud, the Gunpowder’s Cave (NE Morocco)

Between February and April 2015 the C2 archaeo-team went to Morocco to carry out the excavation of Ifri El Baroud (Eastern Rif). I...

Chasing the Sun. From London to Barcelona

Chasing the Sun. From London to Barcelona

In September 2015, Alessandro Potì and Jörg Linstädter (both from project C2) travelled to London to attend the 5th ESHE meeting (...

“La 8ème Rencontre des Quaternaristes Marocains” (...

“La 8ème Rencontre des Quaternaristes Marocains” (RQM8) in Nador (Morocco)

In November 2015, Melanie Bartz, Alessandro Potì and Martin Kehl of the C2 project attended the 8th conference of Quaternary resea...

Quels passés pour l’Afrique? SAfA meeting 2016

Quels passés pour l’Afrique? SAfA meeting 2016

Since the 1970s, the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA) holds a biennial conference dedicated to African archaeology and...

Rabat 2016. Workshop and lithic analysis

Rabat 2016. Workshop and lithic analysis

On October 20, 2016 the Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine (INSAP) of Rabat (Morocco) organized a on...

 

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