Introduction to Short-Term Occupations in Palaeolithic Archaeology

  • Andrea PicinEmail author
  • João CascalheiraEmail author
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


During the Pleistocene, hominins settled and adapted to a broad range of environments and territories using different types of foraging and mobility strategies. Most of these subsistence activities were temporary leaving ephemeral traces of their accomplishment or palimpsests resulting from repeated settlements of the same location. Thus far, the identification and interpretation of the variability of these low-density sites have received little attention in Palaeolithic Archaeology although they are essential aspects of the daily lifestyle of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. The aim of this chapter is to outline the significance of short-term settlements in the past and foster the discussion on the behavioural variability of archaic humans in the dispersal and use of the landscape.


Short-term occupation Palimpsest Prehistoric Hunter-gatherers Palaeolithic Archaeology 



A. Picin is funded by the Max Planck Society. J. Cascalheira is funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, contract ref. DL 57/2016/CP1361/CT0026.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyMax Plank Institute for the Science of Human HistoryJenaGermany
  2. 2.Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Bereich für Ur-und Frühgeschichtliche ArchäologieJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Human EvolutionMax Planck Institute for Evolutionary AnthropologyLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.ICArEHB, University of AlgarveFaroPortugal

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