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The Ice Age development and human settlement in northern Eurasia

Tildelt: kr 12,0 mill.

The growth and decay of the huge ice sheets that periodically covered a large part of the Eurasian continent had an enormous impact on the natural environment and indeed the human populations. This project will study the changing environment during the la st 200,000 years with a focus on the ice sheet history and its relationship with sea level changes, hydrology of the continent and the early human settlements at high latitudes. This is an interdisciplinary research project that will involve geological an d archaeological field investigations as well as modelling experiments. We have initiated collaborative work with several international research groups, including climate and ice sheet modelers, geologists, geographers, botanists and archaeologists. The l ong-term development of the glacial and interglacial periods, including the Paleolithic settling, will be studied in the northeastern European Russia and West Siberia where unique geological and archaeological archives are known to exist. Preceding invest igations have shown that the glacial history in this part of the world was very different from the regions around the Nordic Seas. Furthermore, the recent discovery of nearly 40,000 years old traces of human occupation in the Russian Arctic has opened new perspectives on the early colonization of the continent that will be addressed. Another focus of the project will be some unparalleled rapid glacial and sea level fluctuations that took place along the western flank of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet during t he last deglaciation. In addition to the major environmental changes that affected western Norway during this period we will study the relationship between the shoreline displacement and Stone Age settlement throughout the postglacial period. In collabora tion with several research teams it is the intention to work out paleoenvironmental reconstructions of the changing ice sheet configuration and a synthesis of the shoreline displacement in western Norway.


STORFORSK-Store forskerinitierte prosjekter