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University of Southampton (2019)

The changing Neolithic landscape of Ulaan Nuur : Modelling hydro-social dynamics in the Mongolian Gobi Desert

Holguin, Leah, Ruth

Titre : The changing Neolithic landscape of Ulaan Nuur : Modelling hydro-social dynamics in the Mongolian Gobi Desert

Auteur : Holguin, Leah, Ruth

Université de soutenance : University of Southampton

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2019

Résumé
This dissertation examines human-environment interactions and human responses to changing landscapes, particularly Holocene aridification and evolving hydrological networks, in the Ulaan Nuur (Red Lake) palaeohydrological region in Omnogovi province in southern Mongolia. The field survey has identified several new archaeological areas of local Gobi Desert hunter-gatherer activity, dating between the Epipalaeolithic/Mesolithic to the Eneolithic/Early Bronze Age. These archaeological areas are examined on local household and site scales, where new evidence for the geomorphological and taphonomic processes affecting the anthropogenic landscape are examined in detail. This creates a distribution of artefacts within the context of the geomorphological landscape. These sites are all centred along key hydrological corridors of Ulaan Nuur, along specific ecosystems, including palaeowetlands, small palaeolakes, and the spring belt. The spatial patterns of these archaeological areas of activity highlight potential routes of both regional and local movement across this area of the Gobi. A model of movement of local Gobi Desert Holocene hunter-gatherers constructed around hydrological corridors is presented. This creates a reconsideration of the spatial patterns in human movements across varying scales in desert landscapes, where landscape becomes accessible to spatial interpretation, including analysis of geospatial imagery and GIS based analysis, which identifies key hydrological and geomorphological processes. Combined with field survey, key areas of archaeological activity in relation to these environmental processes are identified.

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