Johanna Hilpert

(Universität zu Köln, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte, Germany)

The Rhine-LUCIFS project is concerned with human impact on fluvial systems since the beginnings of agriculture. The main task of the archaeological project within the Rhine- LUCIFS research group is to determine the amount of open farmland during specific time periods and to estimate regionally differentiated population densities, as these values influence other processes, e.g. sediments degradation and accumulation. The calculations are carried out on the basis of archaeological distribution maps, which are analysed with GISsupported methods. Data obtained from well-researched key areas is transferred to settlement areas with less precise data, deduced from isolines of site density. The obtained results are brought in relation to soil classes, which have been analysed in regard to their preference in one specific time horizon. The amount of precipitation is also taken into account, since it additionally limits the suitable land. These calculations have been carried out successfully for several periods, as the LBK, the Iron Ages and Roman times.

Keywords: GIS, estimation techniques, population density