Human-climate-environment interactions are a key research theme within Quaternary Science, Geomorphology and Environmental Archaeology. The majority of natural scientists now believe that environmental and archaeological data demonstrate a significant link between anthropogenic change and global climate, which in turn, has the potential to affect landscape system thresholds and alter the spatial pattern, intensity and magnitude of geomorphological processes. Interdisciplinary in its very nature, attracting geomorphologists, Quaternary scientists, archaeologists and soil scientists amongst others, Geoarchaeology is a field ideally placed to address questions of human causality and environmental resilience, as well as the impact and response of these changes on human socio-cultural systems. Nevertheless, in many studies the detection of discrete feedback mechanisms of natural and anthropogenic origin remains a challenge as proxy environmental as well as archaeological data tend only to provide a fragmentary picture of the past, often at different temporal and spatial scales and resolutions. In addition the integrity and reliability of geoarchaeological data to develop models and to underpin hypotheses is exceedingly important in the current age of ‘big data’ analysis. This session aims to highlight excellent quality in research, innovative geoarchaeological studies and invites papers with a focus on past landscape evolution, geomorphological processes, human impact and system response. Themes may include the impacts of environmental and climatic variability on human populations and human adaptation to environmental change. We also call on papers based on case-studies that demonstrate the wider geomorphic and archaeological significance of the work that is being presented, with a stronger emphasis on incorporating more theory. Approaches which effectively link multi-scalar datasets are encouraged. More than forty years ago Colin Renfrew stated already that every problem in archaeology starts as a geoarchaeological problem (Renfrew, 1976), while it is still. proposed that a greater degree of interaction between archaeology and geosciences could facilitate future research (Birks et al., 2014).
Based on the result of this session we will select papers for a peer-reviewed volume on geoarchaeology. This session is supported by the IAG - International Working Group on Geoarchaeology.
Birks, H.H., Gelorini, V., Robinson, E. and Hoek, W.Z, 2014. Impacts of palaeoclimate change
60,000-8,000 years ago on humans and their environments in Europe: integrating
palaeoenvironmental and archaeological data. Quaternary International
Renfrew, C., 1976. Megaliths, territories and populations. In: S. De Laet (ed.) Acculturation and continuity in Atlantic Europe. Bruges, 1976, 198-220.
Accepted keynote speaker:
Gert Verstraeten, Division of Geogaphy, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium.
'Human-climate-environment interactions during the past 4000 years in the Taurus Mountain Range, SW Turkey'