The Whole Story. Bridging the Gap between Landscape-archaeological Data from Drylands and Wetlands

Bert Groenewoudt

Abstract


Detailed historical reconstructions require high-quality data. In the traditionally densely settled higher and drier Pleistocene sandy areas (‘drylands’) of the North European Plain (the European aeolian sand belt) and comparable regions elsewhere evidence-based reconstructions are hampered by poor preservation of archaeological remains and archaeologically relevant deposits. This problem can be partially solved by combining, on a microregional level, dryland data with data from nearby wetland pockets (‘wetlands’),in particular stream valleys. This asks for an integrated and systematic inventory of all available data. For this purpose an instrument was developed: the Landscape-Land use Diagram (LLAND). Because data from dry and wet contexts are to some degree supplementary, integrated analysis is essential for obtaining information on the full range of economic and ritual practices. This is demonstrated by research carried out in the valley of the small river Regge (the Netherlands), the results of which are being treated as a stratified landscape-archaeological sample. This paper does not focus on cultural interpretation but on methodology, specifically the potential of data and the benefits of an integrated approach.

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eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies (ISSN 2192-2608)