Functions of Islands

The functions of islands on inland waters of the Holocene settlement landscape of Schleswig-Holstein (FIBSS)

The Moist-Soil and Marine Archaeology in Europe has already given frequent insights into island settlements and their functions during the Holocene. The main goal of this project is to work out the reasons for using such exposed places in a diachronic investigation by means of the exemplary research areas “Ostholsteinische Seenlandschaft” and to ascertain their criteria which will give insights into the function of island utilisation.

The archaeological-palaeoecological investigations have shown that the running waters and lakes of the research area can be characterized as structuring elements of the cultural landscape during most prehistoric and pre-industrial periods. As such, the choice of settlement was strongly influenced by these bodies of water. Islands are part of this settlement behaviour and it was possible to verify a chronological and functional island occupation. The human-environment interactions are not to be equated in the whole research area, because we can differentiate between “diachronic settlement centres”, “frequently used core regions” and “chronologically restricted regions”. The optional orientation to the water may reflect climatic as well as (from the High Middle Ages onward) anthropogenic changes in the lakes water level.

Contact: Dipl. Biol. Magdalena Wieckowska | Philip Lüth M.A.

Funding: DFG 2007-2011


R. Bleile/W. Dörfler/F. Huber/P. Lüth/U. Müller/I. Reese/M. Wieckowska, Funktionen von Inseln in der limnischen Kulturlandschaft Norddeutschlands – Vorbericht zu einem interdisziplinären Forschungsprojekt an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Nachrichtenbl. Unterwasserarchäologie 15, (2009) 2010, 15-29.

Ph. Lüth, Diachrone Studien zur prähistorischen Siedlungslandschaft im Bereich der Plöner Seenplatte. Diss. Phil. Kiel 2011. In Vorb. für Offa Bücher.

M. Wieckowska/W. Dörfler/W. Kirleis, Palynological investigations on the Holocene history of environment and human impact on two islands in the Ostholstein lakeland area, Northern Germany. Special Issue, Proceedings of the Symposium 20 “Human Landscapes and Climate Change” at the 8th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference held at Budapest, Hungary, July 2010, Vegetation History and Archaeobotany in press.

M. Wieckowska/W. Dörfler/W. Kirleis, Holocene lake level change and its influence on hu-man settlement on islands in the Ostholstein lakeland area, Northern Germany. Environmental Archaeology in press.

M. Wieckowska/W. Dörfler/W. Kirleis, Vegetation and settlement history of the last 9000 years recorded in a lake deposit from Großer Eutiner See, Northern Germany. Review of Pa-laeobotany and Palynology in press.