Location Modeling of Final Palaeolithic Sites in Northern Germany

Location modeling, both inductive and deductive, is widely used in archaeology to predict or investigate the spatial distribution of sites. The commonality among these approaches is their consideration of only spatial effects of the first order (i.e., the interaction of the locations with the site characteristics). Second-order effects (i.e., the interaction of locations with each other) are rarely considered. We introduce a deductive approach to investigating such second-order effects using linguistic hypotheses about settling behavior in the Final Palaeolithic. A Poisson process was used to simulate a point distribution using expert knowledge of two distinct hunter–gatherer groups, namely, reindeer hunters and elk hunters. The modeled points and point densities were compared with the actual finds. The G-, F-, and K-function, which allow for the identification of second-order effects of varying intensity for different periods, were applied. The results reveal differences between the two investigated groups, with the reindeer hunters showing location-related interaction patterns, indicating a spatial memory of the preferred locations over an extended period of time. Overall, this paper shows that second-order effects occur in the geographical modeling of archaeological finds and should be taken into account by using approaches such as the one presented in this paper.

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