Session: #1120

Theme & Session Format

7. Archaeology of Sustainability through World Crises, Climate Change and War
Session format:
Session with keynote presentation and discussion

Title & Content

Human environment interactions in the Eurasian steppes from prehistory to the early historical periods
Today's climate crisis is causing aridification and desertification across the world. In the mid-latitudes, semi-arid and arid steppe biomes are under the most severe constraints. These biomes have seen their distribution expand (already more than 40% of the earth's surface) to the detriment of forested environments. As aridification continues, populations across these regions will be required to seek adaptation strategies to sustain their agro-pastoral and food production strategies, adaptations that have the potential to disrupt the steppe ecology.

The session focuses our inquiry on the past to find solutions to the complex challenges of living in and adapting to Eurasia's changing arid and semi-arid environments. Geographically, the mid-latitudes zones of Eurasia are an expansive continental zone characterized by a semi-arid climate dominated by steppes and desert biomes. These environments have been the backdrop of human populations across the Holocene, from nomadic to complex societies, and were home to the historic Silk Road.

For this session, we intend to gather papers that develop an interdisciplinary approach between archaeology, palaeoecology, and paleoclimatology to answer questions regarding sustainability, resilience, and adaptations between humans and their ecology across this vast geographic region. We welcome papers from archeology, paleoclimatology, paleoecology, archaeobotany, geoarchaeology, hydrology, landscape archeology, zooarchaeology, and related disciplines from local to regional scales. These papers can chronologically span prehistory to the early historical periods.
Enviroment, Climate, Steppe, (Semi)-Arid, Prehistory, Early Historical
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Main organiser:
Amy Cromartie (United States) 1,2
Sébastien Joannin (France) 3
Johanna Lhuillier (France) 4
Andrea Ricci (Germany) 5
1. Cornell University
2. Cultures et Environnements Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge (CEPAM)
3. CNRS, UMR 5554 Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution de Montpellier (ISEM)
4. CNRS, UMR 5133 Archéorient, Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée
5. Cluster of Excellence Roots, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel