Neolithic settlement dynamics derived from archaeological data and colluvial deposits between the Baar region and the adjacent low mountain ranges, southwest Germany
The present study combines archaeological data with archaeopedological data from colluvial deposits to infer Neolithic settlement dynamics between the Baar region, the Black Forest and the Swabian Jura. A review of the state of archaeological research and an analysis of the processes leading to the discovery of the Neolithic sites and thereby the formation of the current archaeological site distribution in these landscapes is presented. The intensity of land use in the study area is compared with other landscapes in southern Germany using site frequencies. Phases of colluvial deposition are dated using AMS 14C ages of charcoals and luminescence ages of sediments and interpreted as local proxies for a human presence. Archaeological source criticism indicates that the distribution of the Neolithic sites is probably distorted by factors such as superimposition due to erosion and weathering effects limiting the preservation conditions for Neolithic pottery. A reconstruction of Neolithic settlement dynamics is achieved by complementing the archaeological data with phases of colluviation. Evidence for a continuous land use in the Baar region throughout the Neolithic is provided and sporadic phases of land use on the Swabian Jura and in the Black Forest are identified. In the late and final Neolithic, an intensification of colluvial formation can be noticed in the low mountain ranges.