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The paper summarizes results of an on-going project in the Boyne Valley in Ireland and in Orkney in the north of Scotland. The research of the Romano-Germanic Commission and our partners aimed to investigate the interaction of social, economic, cultural and environmental phenomena in different types of landscapes in a diachronic perspective. Our exploration of the landscapes was based on geophysical prospection, remote sensing and sedimentological analysis, and we adopted a systematic approach that integrated the various approaches in a GIS. In the Boyne Valley large areas were investigated on the periphery of the monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. The field work on the Orkney Islands is focussing on tracing settlement patterns connected to chambered tombs, on the Island of Rousay. The use of a similar research design in both regions produces compound databases, something that is crucial for comparing trajectories of change in Neolithic land use, and in understanding those changes.