Modelling Neolithic Western Switzerland: Demography and Land Use

Laabs, Julian; Lemmen, Carsten; Hafner, Albert (6 September 2018). Modelling Neolithic Western Switzerland: Demography and Land Use. In: 24th EAA Annual Meeting (Barcelona, 2018) - Reflecting Futures. Barcelona. 5-8.09.2018.

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The interdisciplinary trinational project “Beyond lake villages: Studying Neolithic environmental changes and human impact at small
lakes in Switzerland, Germany and Austria” combines research agendas on micro, meso- and macro-regional scales for a better understanding
of human-environment relationships over time in the Northern Alpine Foreland. Next to archaeological and palynological
investigations an emphasis is set on computer-based modelling studies. In this framework different kinds of approaches are chosen
to investigate the reciprocity in human-environment systems especially concerned with past human spatial behaviour and land use
Our subproject focuses on the Three-Lakes-Region in Western Switzerland, which was densely settled during the Neolithic (~4300-
2200 cal. BC). The richness of (bio-)archaeological data from the lake shore villages provides us with reliable information about
prehistoric subsistence economy, social organization and, in many cases, with high-resolution dendrochronological dating.
In order to tackle the question of past LU patterns we employ an approach that enables us to test and explore hypotheses about
the settlement dynamics, subsistence models and strategies to cope with a changing environment. We use a regional scaled down
version of the “Global Land Use and technological Evolution Simulator” (GLUES) to simulate population growth/decline and combine
it with the agent-based “Wetland Settlement Simulator” (WELASSIMO) to simulate the LU. We are currently working on a simulation
model that is capable to estimate human impact on their environment and gain insights into Neolithic communities’ resilience
against changes in the natural system, triggered by external forces or the legacy of former LU activities.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Laabs, Julian and Hafner, Albert


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Julian Laabs

Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2018 16:32

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 18:48

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Prehistory, Computational modelling, Neolithic, Switzerland




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