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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Maps

For a Special Issue on
PaleoMaps: representations of Quaternary paleoenvironments, human–environment interaction and human dispersal

Manuscript deadline
31 October 2021

Cover image - Journal of Maps

Special Issue Editor(s)

Felix Henselowsky, Heidelberg University & CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe”
[email protected]

Christian Willmes, Cologne University & CRC 806 “Our Way to Europe”
[email protected]

Mike Smith, Ulster University
[email protected]

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PaleoMaps: representations of Quaternary paleoenvironments, human–environment interaction and human dispersal

We would like to invite contributions to a special issue of the Journal of Maps devoted to the cartographic representation of Quaternary paleoenvironments and their relationship to prehistoric human-environment interaction, with a particular focus on, but not limited to, Pleistocene timescales. As a result, input data should reflect an integrated approach with collaborative knowledge and highlight the latest interdisciplinary research on the spatial dimension of landscape, paleoenvironments and past human behaviour in a given area.


The intention of this special issue is to help enable the expansion of data visualisation and availability that result from the GIS-based analysis of paleoenvironments and landscapes with their impact on (early) human behaviour at various temporal and spatial scales. This focus upon cartographic outputs results from a realisation that maps are often simplified in peer-reviewed publications, yet they can provide a very powerful statement and synthesis of these results. The principal aim of this special issue is therefore to produce a set of exemplary spatial data visualizations that integrate mapping from the variable field of sciences in the study of past human-environment (e.g. geography, geoscience, archaeology, climatology).


Research on our own species history with the spread of humans across the globe throughout variable landscape and past human-environment interactions is now an in-depth interdisciplinary field of science. Here, maps provide the chance to act as a common language across the involved research disciplines for any spatial component and topic. The underpinning rationale of PaleoMaps concerns collecting, integrating and creating explicit geospatial representations of paleoenvironments. In the form of GIS data, these maps can be re-used in spatial modelling applications. These maps and GIS data sets are requested to represent Quaternary environmental changes and paleolandscapes, where the archaeological evidence is integrated or used as a baseline for the spatial modelling of human activity. Very few sources for cartographic paleoenvironmental reconstructions currently exist, yet there are abundant sources of data and information which can be integrated to create a PaleoMap. This will enable the appreciation, reuse and downstream application of these maps (and data).


Without constraining the range of topics that are potentially suitable for inclusion in the special issue, we offer the following as examples:

  • Methods to create, and GIS data sets that represent, paleoenvironements such as paleotopography (paleo DEMs), paleo hydrology, paleo vegetation, glaciation extents, and the likes.
  • Techniques and approaches for automated derivation of continuous paleoenvironments from pointwise observations (e.g. sediment records) to a given landscape;
  • Paleoenvironments from a climatological and ecological perspective with ecological niches and species distribution models;
  • Distribution of archaeological sites and human activity areas in the context of distinct paleo-landscapes;
  • Spatial data representation of modelling approaches integrating environments and human behaviour with rules of interaction, such as Agent-Based-Modelling;
  • Integration of spatial data representations apart from GIS data (analogue maps, annotated unstructured text, spreadsheets, etc) into an explicit GIS-dataset and map; and
  • Prehistoric watercourses and palaeohydrological features with regard to water availability in dryland environments

Submission Instructions

All papers are expected to consist of a map or series of maps (loosely and broadly defined to include various forms of spatial representation) accompanied by brief explanatory text. Papers should be bespoke, and the mapping of good quality. All papers in this special issue will be peer reviewed. To submit a paper, authors should do the following:

  1. Submit a completed paper (4000 word limit) by 31st October 2021.
  2. The special issue will be published in mid 2022.

The special issue editorial team are happy to discuss ideas for papers and their suitability with potential contributors prior to the short draft submission stage. Please e-mail Felix Henselowsky ([email protected]), or Christian Willmes ([email protected]) in the first instance.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article