Human-environment dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean


Opuscula 15 will be published in November 2022.

Human-environment dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean. Keywords of a research field

By Erika Weiberg & Martin Finné


Human-environment dynamics in past societies has been a major field of research in the Mediterranean for a long time, but has grown significantly following the increase in the number and quality of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental records in the last two decades. Here we sketch the outline of this field of research based on 1,531 author keywords from 280 peer-reviewed articles published in 78 different scientific journals during 2016–2021. Sourced from the Web of Science, the selected studies cover the time span from the Neolithic to the Roman period across the Mediterranean and provide a large number of entry points for the interested reader regardless of their prior knowledge and specific interests. The results make evident the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of this research and show that it is possible to approach questions of human-environment dynamics in many and diverse ways. Among other things, our overview outlines the importance of temporal and spatial scales, as well as the elusive nature of causality, and highlights that monocausal models connecting climate events and societal collapse are increasingly replaced by scenarios favouring more nuanced renditions of the sequence of events within which internal societal factors are given more room for play.

Bibliographical information

Erika Weiberg & Martin Finné, ‘Human-environment dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean. Keywords of a research field’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 15, Stockholm 2022, 221-252. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977799-4-4. Softcover, 268 pages.

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