Evangelos Tourloukis

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Eberhardt-Karls U.

Grant number

Gr. 9271

Approve Date

April 11, 2016

Project Title

Tourloukis, Dr. Evangelos, Eberhard-Karls U., Tuebingen, Germany - To aid research on 'Palaeolithic Settlement and Land Use in a Quaternary Refugium: New Evidence from Epirus, NW Greece'

EVANGELOS TOURLOUKIS, Eberhard-Karls Universisty, Tuebingen, Germany, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Palaeolithic Settlement and Land Use in a Quaternary Refugium: New Evidence from Epirus, NW Greece.’ The research in Epirus, NW Greece, targeted a specific type of open-air sites with red-beds (terra rossa s.l.), which represent small paleo-lakes. Even though these sites are known from the 1960s for yielding tens of thousands of lithic artifacts, mostly attributed to the Middle Palaeolithic, they were never excavated, because the archaeological material was considered to be reworked and therefore of low archaeological value. The grantee conducted subsurface investigations and systematic sampling for micromorphological analyses and radiometric dating, aiming at retrieving artifacts from geologically ‘sealed,’ undisturbed contexts that are datable and amenable to stratigraphic correlations and paleoenvironmental analyses. Focusing on the sites of Morfi and Popovo, the research proved that the red-bed sites of Epirus include undisturbed archaeological contexts that can be excavated and dated. While some of the studied localities served as ‘reference sites’ in the landscape and were likely used as ‘residential camps,’ others were ‘special-purpose sites’ in the regional settlement network, e.g. for the provisioning of lithic raw materials or serving as hunting stands. The fieldwork in Epirus has shifted the focus on the cave and rockshelter settings to open-air sites, which have long remained understudied. This is the first step towards elucidating the Palaeolithic human geography in Greece based on excavated and dated material from open-air sites, and not based on undated surface collections or only the evidence from caves.