The presented doctoral dissertation uses luminescence dating techniques to reconstruct the past environmental and climatic conditions in the middle and lower Danube basin during the period of Homo sapiens' emergence in Europe. The methodological approach focused on optically stimulated luminescence dating of loess deposits, but for some the sections the geochronological methods were combined with physical, biological and geochemical proxy data to reconstruct the paleoenvironmental conditions.
We present multi-proxy analyses of a 14C-dated peat core covering the past ⁓5000 years from the ombrotrophic Pürgschachen Moor. Pronounced increases in cultural indicators suggest significant human activity in the Bronze Age and in the period of the late La Tène culture. We found strong, climate-controlled interrelations between the pollen record, the humification degree and the ash content. Human activity is reflected in the pollen record and by heavy metals.
This paper reconstructs climatic changes during the last 2600 years in southern Greece based on a sediment core from Lake Trichonida. We provide an age-depth model and continuous geochemical data. Carbonate-rich material is linked to drier/warmer conditions, while terrigenous sediment input was stronger during wetter/colder conditions. Wetter phases coincide with a more negative North Atlantic Oscillation index, suggesting that this is a major driver for precipitation variability in the region.
We present two new palaeolake archives of Pheneos and Kaisari, Peloponnese, and compare them with records from Stymphalia and Asea by applying the same set of analyses to all sites. We focus on different spatial scales to estimate the validity range of the proxy signals. Geochemical ratios depict hydrological variation and environmental changes over the last 5000 years. They indicate drier phases, but timing and duration vary, which may be explained by site-specific ecosystem responses.
The radiocarbon dating of Late Iron Age origin and anthropogenic traces such as cut marks on bones of a male elk skeleton found by a local resident in a pit cave prove an archaeological origin. So far known archaeological settlements are several tens of kilometres apart from the finds. The location and the dating are unique in that they are the first evidence of elk hunting during the Late Iron Age in the Bavarian Alps.
Our new concept of the Weichselian ice dynamics in the south-western sector of the Baltic Sea depression is based on existing geochronological data from Germany, Denmark and southernmost Sweden, as well as new data from north-east Germany. Previous models are mainly based on the reconstruction of morphologically continuous ice-marginal positions, whereas our model shows a strong lobate and variable character of ice advances. We strongly suggest an age- and process-based approach in the future.
The contribution highlights the use of Landsat archive data (1985–2019) for the detection of surface anomalies potentially related to buried near-surface paleogeomorphological deposits in the Nile Delta (Egypt). The analyses of selected spectral-temporal metrics showed several anomalies in the immediate surroundings of Pleistocene sand hills (geziras) and settlement mounds (tells) of the eastern Delta, which allowed mapping of the potential near-surface continuation.
We studied snails from Holocene river sediments of the upper Alazani River in the southeastern Caucasus. Since no natural floodplain forests existed in the river valley until ca. 4500 years ago, our snail data confirm a formerly suggested regional settlement center from the ca. 8000 years unknown thus far. Furthermore, increasing proportions of water-related snails for ca. 4000 years indicate a shift of the river course possibly linked with the formation of the Greater Caucasus.