The dissertation project concentrates on peripheral economic areas represented by the mountainous landscapes and foothills in Central and Eastern Europe. The main focus is laid on the Western Carpathians, Eastern and Southern Carpathians and the Eastern Alps as well as on selected foothill regions in the Balkan Dinaric Alps, in Germany and in the Czech Republic. All these regions have been compared to one another using the diachronic method. The project covers the chronological period from the Neolithic to the end of the Final Bronze Age.
The centre of attention here is a widespread model based on the assumption that prehistoric colonisation of cirques and valleys was enabled by change or alleviation of climate as well as by the subsequent demographic rise in population, which made a part of the inhabitants colonise the mountainous regions as well. Since the climatic conditions and the soil quality in these mountainous regions were worse compared to the lowlands, a significant part of the inhabitants, according to this model, must have been engaged in prospecting and mining (stone and metals), pastoralism and hunting. These activities have also mainly been associated with settlements, evidence of cave dwellings and the so-called stray finds discovered in side valleys of intermontane basins or directly in the mountains. Within this work, aspects such as climate alleviation and population growth have been compared with settlement structure and population density, prospecting/mining and transhumance/hunting with metal analyses and land use, transport and transit corridors with exchange and economic networks. Another important aspect is the comparison between the foothills and the mountainous areas. The aim of the work is to present an as complete as possible picture of the Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement in the Western Carpathians.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Tobias Kienlin, Prof. Dr. Nicolai Grube, Prof. Dr. Pawel Valde- Nowak