Session: #172

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Transitions in Agriculture: Integrating Archaeological Sciences
Agriculture has been the focus of the human economy in Europe for much of the past 9000 years and, as such, its evolution has been the subject of intensive research. The history of agriculture has been punctuated by a number of major transitions – from its initial adoption in the Early Neolithic, to the specialisations that occurred in the Late Neolithic to Bronze Age, and again from the Iron Age to the Roman period, from Roman times to the Early Middle Ages, and the remarkable innovations in Post-Medieval times. These agricultural transitions are inextricably linked to significant environmental, social, cultural and political changes that affected all aspects of human life. However, as historical and archaeological disciplines have become increasingly specialised, it is often very challenging to look beyond one’s specific niche of interest and combine the different strands of evidence, while the integration of different archaeological disciplines (archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, genetics, etc.) is often key to our understanding of the driving forces behind these important processes.
This session aims to bring together archaeological scientists whose work focusses on agricultural transitions (for example in farming, animal husbandry, horticulture or arboriculture). We particularly welcome interdisciplinary papers which involve the integration of different scientific methods. Potential themes include (but are not restricted to):
- New research related to agricultural transitions
- Ways of characterising different agricultural transitions
- Links between agricultural and cultural transitions
- The causes and effects of agricultural transitions
- Challenges faced when integrating different lines of data
- Future directions for the study of transitions in agriculture
agriculture, transitions, farming, animal husbandry, horticulture, archaeological science
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Lizzie Wright (United Kingdom) 1
Idoia Grau-Sologestoa (Switzerland) 1
Sabine Deschler-Erb (Switzerland) 1
Alexandra Livarda (United Kingdom) 2
1. University of Basel
2. University of Nottingham