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Indigenous Knowledge and Archaeoinformatics - Exploring forager mobility in an archaeological landscape

(funded by VolkswagenStiftung "Off the beaten track" funding program)

Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Paliou, Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz

CDS members associated with the project: Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Paliou

This three-year project, which will start in May 2019, aims to combine Archaeoinformatics and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) for a better understanding of hunter (gatherer) mobility in an uninhabited archaeological landscape in western Central Namibia. It will take advantage of a rare opportunity to track using geospatial technologies the movements of indigenous experts while hunting with traditional means (i.e. on foot without firearms, optical aides or hunting dogs) in a landscape rich of archaeological evidence. The data collected on the field (GPS recorded tracks, velocity and caloric expenditure data, as well as qualitative information on decision-making) will be used to obtain unique insights into the wayfinding process as well as the physical constraints to human mobility during hunting. In turn, these insights will be used to inform computational models of hunter gatherer mobility in open landscapes (cost surface models, visibility analyses and agent-based models) so that they are better tailored to the needs of archaeology, and hunter gatherer research in particular.