Fables of the Past

Landscape (Re-)constructions and the Bias in the Data

  • Michael Kempf University of Freiburg, Archaeological Institute, Germany
Keywords: spatial analyses, GIS, multivariate modelling, landscape archaeology, human ecology


Prehistoric landscape reconstructions are still considered an unsolved methodological issue in archaeological research, and this includes the perception and transformation of an individual landscape in relation to situational and local ecosystem performances. Which parts of the landscape offered the potential for land-use and which areas were rather unsuitable due to a variety of environmental preconditions? The modern perception of the archaeological record that is distributed in the modern landscape does not necessarily represent a realistic dispersal of past human activity, but rather reflects the current state of archaeological research and modern land-use strategies. This contribution provides a critical assessment of spatial analyses of large and unstructured archaeological datasets and the non-reconstructibility of past, individually perceived palaeolandscapes.


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How to Cite
KempfM. (2020). Fables of the Past. Documenta Praehistorica, 47, 476-492. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.47.27