Environment and History in the Ancient Mediterranean

Environment and History in the Ancient Mediterranean

William V. Harris
Vom - Bis
15.06.2011 - 16.06.2011
William V. Harris

Whether it is climate, or the use and overuse of timber resources, or the extent and effects of urbanization, or a host of other issues, the history of the Mediterranean environment in antiquity is full of unresolved debates. The intention of this conference is scarcely to resolve these debates but rather to redefine their terms and to think about what progress we can hope to make in the immediate future. The speakers are environmental scientists, historians and archaeologists from some seven nations. All interested persons are welcome to attend.


First Session
Villa Lante
June 15th, 2011

9:15 a.m. - 9:30: Welcoming remarks: Katariina Mustakallio (IRF),
William Harris (Columbia University)

A Framework
9:30-10:00: Paolo Malanima (Napoli), "Energy Consumption: a Quantitative Analysis"

10:00-10:15: discussion

10:15-10:45: William Harris, "Deforestation in the Ancient Mediterranean: A Historian's View"

10:45-11:00: discussion

11:00-11:30: coffee break

11:30-12:00: Lin Foxhall (Leicester), "Farming Out: Greek Agricultural Practices, Overseas Settlement and Environmental Encounters"

12:00-12:15: discussion

12:15-12:45: Nicholas Purcell (Oxford), "Mountains and the Problem of Scale in Environmental History"

12:45-13:00: discussion.

13:00-15:00 Lunch Break

Second Session
Villa Aurelia
June 15th, 2011

15:30-15:35: Welcoming remarks: Christopher Celenza (AAR)

15:30-16:00: Michael McCormick (Harvard), "What We Need to Learn from Climate Scientists to Reconstruct the Roman Climate"

16:00-16:15: discussion

16:15-16:45: Edward Cook (Columbia), "The Climate of the Late Roman Period in Europe from Millennial-Length Tree-Ring Records: Progress and Needs"

16:45-17:15: coffee break

17:15-17:45: Sturt Manning (Cornell), "Available Macro-climate Contexts for History, and the Potentials for Micro-History from High-Resolution Climate Data, in the Mediterranean"

17:45-18:00: discussion

18:00-18:30: Saskia Hin (Rostock), "Climate Trends under the Roman Empire and their Implications for Mortality"

18:30-18:45: discussion

18:45-19:45: Reception.

Third Session
Villa Aurelia
June 16th, 2011

Forests And Rivers

10:00-10:30: Florence Mazier (Toulouse), "Pollen-inferred Quantitative Reconstructions of Holocene Deforestation in NW Europe -- First Results from the Landclim Project"

10:30-10:45: discussion

10:45-11:15: coffee break

11:15-11:45: Brian Campbell (Queen's University, Belfast), "Fertilissimus amnis: Exploiting Rivers"

11:45-12:00: discussion

Site Reports
12:00-12:30: Paula Kouki (Helsinki), "Problems of Relating Environmental History and Human Settlement in the Classical and Late-classical Periods: the Example of Southern Jordan"

12:30-12:45: discussion

12:45-15:00: Lunch Break

Fourth Session
Villa Aurelia
June 16th, 2011

Site Reports (continued)
15:00-15:30: Elda Russo Ermolli (Naples), "Human-environment Relationship in the Southern Tyrrhenian Coastal Area: Hypothesis from Neapolis and Elea-Velia"

15:30-15:45: discussion

15:45-16:00: Robyn Veal (Sydney), "Fuelling Ancient Mediterranean Cities: A Case Study from Pompeii ca 3rd c. BC to AD 79"

16:00-16:15: discussion

16:15-16:35: coffee break

16:35-17:05: Lukas Thommen (Basel), "Environmental Terms and their Impact on Human Behaviour in Antiquity"

17:05-17:20: discussion

Drawing Some Conclusions

Andrew Wilson (Oxford)

Salvatore Settis (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)


William Harris

History Department
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027


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