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Indigenous Knowledge and Archaeoinformatics (IKAi)

This project “Indigenous Knowledge and Archaeoinformatics” (IKAi) aims to combine Archaeoinformatics and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) for a better understanding of hunter (gatherer) mobility in an uninhabited archaeological landscape in western Central Namibia. It takes advantage of a rare opportunity to trace the movements of indigenous tracking experts while hunting with traditional means (i.e. on foot without firearms, optical aides or hunting dogs) in a landscape rich of archaeological evidence.

The data collected on the field (GPS recorded tracks, velocity and caloric expenditure data, as well as qualitative information on decision-making) will be used to obtain unique insights into the wayfinding process as well as the physical constraints to human mobility during hunting. In turn, these insights will be used to inform computational models of hunter gatherer mobility in open landscapes (cost surface models, Lévy walks) so that they are better tailored to the needs of archaeology, and hunter gatherer research in particular.

The project is closely related to the BMBF funded research “Modelling prehistoric hunting behaviour"

Project website: 

PIs: Prof. Dr. Eleftheria Paliou (Archäoinformatik), Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz (Prehistoric Archaeology, Research Centre for African Archaeology)

Research associates and partners:

Funding: VolkswagenStiftung, "Off the beaten track" funding program