Land use dynamics in Neolithic Western Switzerland

Laabs, Julian; Lemmen, Carsten; Hafner, Albert (5 February 2019). Land use dynamics in Neolithic Western Switzerland (Unpublished). In: Digital Archaeology: Quantitative approaches, spatial statistics and socioecological modelling. Bern. 04.-06.02.2019.

Neolithic communities of the Northern Alpine Foreland show a distinct settlement behavior which prefers locations at the shores of water bodies and short-lived phases of occupation, implicating a high residential mobility. The reciprocal social and environmental conditions and choices to create and maintain such a settlement system are highly debated and belong to the sphere of the investigation of socioecological systems. The interdisciplinary tri-national research project “Beyond lake villages: Studying Neolithic environmental changes and humanimpact at small lakes in Switzerland, Germany and Austria” explores old and new archaeological as well as paleoecological data to widen the view on the phenomena of the Neolithic wetland sites at different spatial scales. For Western Switzerland a computer-based simulation model on the meso-regional scale is built to simulate land use (LU), anthropogenic land cover
change (ALCC) and the demographic and socio-technological development of Neolithic communities. Based on the gradient adaptive dynamics between population density and sociocultural traits under environmental constrains a regional scaled down version of he “Global Land Use and technological Evolution Simulator” (GLUES) simulates growth and
decline of prehistoric communities. The LU module of our simulation model, based on the agent-based Wetland Settlement Simulator” (WELASSIMO), translates the population size and assumptions about the subsistence economy into spatially explicit LU. During the simulation the alteration of important resources affected by the communities’ induced LU is tracked. Legacy effects from former inhabitation of a landscape have influence on the attractiveness of specific places that can be chosen as settlement location. Under different scenarios concerning communities’ resilience, economic choices and environmental changes we investigate probable reasons and mechanism of LU dynamics and its influence Neolithic settlement behaviour at a longterm scale.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History
08 Faculty of Science > PAGES Past Global Changes

Graduate School:

Graduate School of Climate Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Laabs, Julian, Hafner, Albert


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




Julian Laabs

Date Deposited:

05 Apr 2019 11:06

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:26


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