Session: #313

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Earth, Water and Fire: Approaching Living Habitat and Community Landscape Management
The relationship of humans with natural resources keeps societies functioning yet also endangers environments and triggers social tensions. Although recent holistic approaches in archaeology have addressed the transformative role of resources in ancient societies, scholars in the humanities, social and natural sciences have not sufficiently explored the relationship in terms of sustainability. This resource-culture dynamic entangles humans and habitats in glocal histories of interrelationships. Habitat is a central concept here, for it implies a generative aspect which must be acknowledged in the development of sustainable non-Cartesian models in our relationship with the environment. This session aims to expand existing phenomenological, experiential, and praxitological discourses by offering an interdisciplinary venue to discuss this topic in terms of landscape management that both structures, and is structured by, sustainable habitats. Management is to be understood not only in relational terms but also through sensory experiences, dwelling within the landscape, and its symbiotic dimension. For this reason, the transformative role of natural resources in practices that shape landscapes will represent a particularly welcome topic, through case-studies and/or more theoretically-focused papers. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the appropriation of clays, water resources, and the central role of fire in making landscapes lived habitats. Therefore, papers will be very welcome which discuss pottery-making, (de)forestation activities, and building practices, or that explore the idea of anthropogenic spaces as living habitats also affecting ecological sustainability. More generally, archaeological research is encouraged from the intersection of philosophy, social and environmental sciences, and creative engagements with materials and resources that focus on the interrelationship of humans with their lived, experienced environments. The debate fostered by this session will offer a fresh understanding of these interrelationships, and new perspectives to discuss human resiliency and sustainable developments beyond the Cartesian separation of the human and natural.
Habitat, Landscape management, Archaeology, Sustainability, Engagement, Resources
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Main organiser:
Matteo Cantisani (Germany) 1,2
Dragoş Gheorghiu (Romania) 3,4
Constance Von Rüden (Germany) 5
1. Research Associate, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
2. Ruhr Universität Bochum, Zentrum für Mittelmeerenstudien
3. Full Professor, Doctoral School, National University of Arts, Bucharest
4. Instituto Terra e Memória - Mação, Centro de Geociências da Universidade de Coimbra
5. Full Professor, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Ruhr-Universität Bochum