Workshop: European Land-Use at 6000 BP
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    University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

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This PAGES funded workshop is concerned with reconstructing land use for the European continent by synthesising land use patterns derived from the archaeological record, particularly farming and landscape management strategies and intensity for the time period 6000 BP. 

The workshop is part of the Global Land-Use and Land-Cover for Climate Modelling – LandCover6K working group (Phase 2) of PAGES and it is organised by Dr Nicki Whitehouse (University of Plymouth), Dr Ferran Antolin (University of Basel) and Professor Marco Madella (UPF-Barcelona). The workshop is also part of the Holocene Global Landuse (HoLa) International Focus Group of INQUA. 

The LandCover6K Working Group is concerned with whether prehistoric human impacts on land cover (i.e. anthropogenic land cover change due to land use LULC) were sufficiently large to have a major impact on regional climates. Climate model simulations have shown that LULC datasets can have large regional impacts on climate in recent and prehistoric time. However, there are major differences between the available LULC scenarios/data sets (e.g. HYDE and KK10). The only way to provide a useful assessment of the potential for LULC changes to affect climate in the past, is to feed HYDE with more realistic LULC changes based on palaeovegetation (LC) and archaeological evidence (LU). This is the goal of the LandCover6k WG

This workshop is concerned with reconstructing LU for the European continent by synthesising LU patterns derived from the archaeological record, particularly farming and landscape management strategies and intensity for 6K BP. We are also interested in the location of settlements, storage facilities field systems, and industrial activities. We define Europe as encompassing areas north of Greece (inclusive), north up to Fennoscandia and Ireland, east as far as Russia. 

We face two challenges: 

  • (i) translate the global LU categorisation product (a world-wide hierarchical, scalable land classification system developed from LandCover6K’s first phase) into a European context
  • (ii) map LU from the volume of archaeological data for 6K and derive expert-based estimates of LU intensity. 

The most effective means of doing this is to bring together experts in plant and animal husbandry and the archaeological record. Several collaborative projects have synthesised regional datasets that could be used to address LU; they have never been summarised at a European level.

Main workshop objectives will be to:

  • (i) Agree LU classifications developed for other regions, ensure these are fit for purpose for Europe at 6000 BP, and develop (if needed) geography-specific low-rank categories 
  • (ii) Establish regions for which we have good data sets for LU and produce associated initial top level hierarchy LU maps 
  • (iii) Identify high-resolution case study areas that merit further detailed LU mapping and collaborative effort 
  • (iv) Agree a publication strategy from the workshop and subsequent analyses.


The target audience is archaeologists concerned with Europe at 6000 BP; workshop participation is by application and is restricted to approximately 25 people. We encourage a mixture of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and Seniour Scientists (SS) to apply, selected from the pool of applicants. There is some funding available; ECRs will be prioritised. 

The application for participation may be downloaded from the above link. Participants who are able to contribute to datasets in the study region will be prioritised. The deadline for the submission of the application form is 30 March 2018.


Participants will be asked to prepare information regarding their study region in advance of the workshop. This information will be shared within the participant group in a secure online area (see application form). There will be a very limited number of presentations; the majority of the workshop will be devoted to synthesis of data. 

Planned products 

There will be three planned ‘products’ from the workshop:

  • (i) PAGES workshop report for PAGES magazine
  • (ii) A multi-authored research paper for a multidisciplinary journal that discusses the (i) land use categories within a European context; (ii) identification of regions for which we have good datasets to address LU at 6000 BP; (iii) first order top level LU map for the regions of Europe where we have relevant information; (iv) selected detailed mapped case study regions examples – to be determined by the group 
  • (iii) Top level map of Europe LU at 6000 BP on UPenn LandUse website.

The group may discuss further outputs they would like to see developed, depending upon the focus of the discussion, especially for the archaeological community.

Queries may be addressed to Dr Nicki Whitehouse (email: nicola.whitehouse@plymouth), to whom the application form for participation should also be emailed by the stated deadline.

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