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Data stewardship scholarship project

LandCover6k was awarded a Data Stewardship Scholarship in November 2021.

Data steward

LandCover6k is keen to announce this position widely to increase the chances of getting the most qualified person for the work, if possible familiar with both palaeoecological and archaeological data. The person will work in close collaboration with Kathy Morrison, Marco Madella, Nicki Whitehouse and Stefania Merlo for archaeology-based datasets/maps etc., and with Marie-José Gaillard, Ralph Fyfe, and Furong Li for pollen-based datasets/maps etc. 


LandCover6k has come to an end (November 2021).

It focused on collecting/reconstructing Holocene land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) datasets for climate modeling at a global scale.  Over the last seven years, LandCover6k has put major efforts in collecting Holocene LULCC from as many regions of the world as possible by 1) building up networks of palynologists and archaeologists worldwide, 2) disseminating/teaching the methods used to infer global LULCC from pollen and archaeological data, and 3) encouraging and supervising collection of these data.

There is currently a large number of products, of which some are published and archived in PANGAEA (; see details below, under “chosen trusted depository“), some are under publication and soon accessible in PANGAEA, and some still need to be written up, published, and archived. The LandCover6k products include primarily data files of Holocene LULCC values, e.g. pollen-based percentage of various land-cover types and archaeology-based per capita land-use estimates, but also LULCC maps of various kinds, and diagrams of quantified characteristics of land-use (see description of products below, under “final products”).

Several of the LandCover6k products are already used in ongoing projects; the major ones are:
1) the PMIP fast track initiative in which LandCover6k archaeology-based land-use and pollen-based land-cover data are assimilate in the anthropogenic land-cover change scenarios (HYDE; Kees Klein Goldewijk); these new scenarios will then be used in palaeoclimate modelling;
2) the Swedish Research Council (VR) “LandClim II” project looking at past land-use as a climate forcing during the Holocene in Europe (Strandberg et al., in progress); in this project a new pollen-based land-cover reconstruction for Europe was achieved (Githumbi et al., paper submitted to Earth System Science Data, and land-cover dataset archived in).

The LandCover6k products need to be published and archived as soon as possible for ongoing and future projects, and also because data archiving is required by International Journals. 


- PANGAEA ( for “raw” LULCC data submitted as Tables – fast archiving in connection with publication of the data.
This is an information system operated as an Open Access library for archiving, publishing and distributing georeferenced data from earth system research. It guarantees long-term availability of its content through a commitment of the hosting institutions. PANGAEA is member of the World Data System.

 - SEAD ( based at Umeå University, Sweden: for LULCC data in various format including Tables, maps, diagrams; SEAD is also a research tool and the LandCover6k products will gain a lot of value if they can be used in an interactive way together with other datasets archived in SEAD. Furthermore, linking to other databases such as Neotoma and GBIF through SEAD‘s API will increase the scope of users beyond the community which created the data. SEAD provides more services than PANGAEA , e.g. online analysis tools to use the archived datasets in different ways. All data are geo-referenced and searchable through maps and a facetted browser provides advanced filtering and cross-querying. SEAD is well connected to the Swedish National Data Service (, European infrastructures for archaeology ( and Heritage Science (

The PAGES LandCover6K team ensures a greater degree of persistence and reuse of their data by placing them in both PANGAEA and SEAD. Whilst there will be very little duplication of LandCover6k data in these repositories, it is worse pointing out that with the implementation of DOI's there are considerable advantages to duplicating data in different systems, especially in terms of ensuring greater reuse and longevity of data.

Final products

All products mentioned here fit in the group’s goal: to be useful for climate modelling, research on land-use (anthropogenic land-cover change) as climate forcing in particular (Harrison et al., 2020). 

Major products to be archived:

Pollen-based REVEALS land-cover reconstructions (N America-Canada-Alaska, Europe, Near East, Siberia-China):
-    Tables: REVEALS estimates of plant cover, gridded, scale 1˚x1˚
-    Statistically interpolated REVEALS estimates, gridded, scale 1˚x1˚
-    Gridded maps of REVEALS estimates of land cover over the Holocene (25 time windows) –(see examples of such maps for an earlier version of REVEALS reconstruction for part of Europe in Trondman et al. 2015, GCB 21), or statistically interpolated data (see examples of such maps using REVEALS estimates from Trondman et al. (2015) in Pirzimanbein et al. 2020, Earth and Space Sc. 7)

Archaeology-based land-use reconstructions: 
- Worldwide: Table and maps of estimates of Per Capita Land Use (PCLU) values for different land-use categories 
- South Asia and China: Estimates of land use based on archeological data and expert knowledge and rendered as vector polygons maps for 10k (SA only), 6k, 4k, 2k (C only)
- Europe, Near East, Africa:     
a) Assessment of land use based on archaeological data and expert knowledge and rendered as a 
gridded map for 6k
b) Estimates of land use based on radiocarbon and site based archaeological data and rendered as gridded map for 6k- includes both estimates of covered land for each individual land use category and a quantification of land-use pressure (e.g. 5%, 10%, etc); 
Maps resolution:  8kmx8km