The influences of environmental, especially climatic, conditions on past human societies have attracted significant attention in recent decades among both the scientific community and the general public. Located at the conjunction of Asia, Europe, and Africa and at the intersection of three climatic systems, Anatolia is particularly well suited for studying such impacts. In particular, Anatolia challenges many assumptions about how climatic factors affect socio-political organization and medium-term historical evolution, highlighting the importance of close collaboration between archaeologists, historians, and climate scientists.
The chapters in this volume are revised and reviewed versions of papers delivered in April 2021 at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) during the 15th International ANAMED Annual Symposium (IAAS). The symposium brought together researchers engaged in exploring and understanding the varied and dynamic interactions between environment and society in Anatolia. Integrating high-resolution archaeological, textual, and environmental data with longer-term, low-resolution data on past climates, the chapters of this volume showcase recent evidence for periods of climate change and human responses to it, thereby exploring the causes underlying societal change across several millennia. Among the results of specific case studies, the volume in general illustrates how such collaborative research can improve understanding of complex social and cultural changes and help untangle the enmeshed relationships between climate, environment, and society in Anatolia.
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NEIL ROBERTS – Boon or Curse? The Role of Climate Change in the Rise and Demise of Anatolian Civilizations
I. Insights over the Long Term: Continuity and Change
BÜLENT ARIKAN – An Assessment of Long-Term Climate Dynamics across Anatolia Based on the Results of Macrophysical Climate Modeling
CEREN KABUKCU and ELENI ASOUTI – Early to Mid-Holocene Vegetation History and Human Settlement in Anatolia
MADELYNN VON BAEYER and TEVFİK EMRE ŞERİFOĞLU – Stability through Crisis: Cultural Resilience in the Face of Climatic Fluctuation from 3500 BCE to 1300 CE at Çadır Höyük in North-Central Anatolia
ÇETİN ŞENKUL, MUSTAFA DOĞAN, AZİZ ÖREN, AHMET KÖSE, FİKRİ KULAKOĞLU, WARREN J. EASTWOOD, UĞUR DOĞAN, and HUGH ELTON – Genesis of the Beyşehir Occupation Phase: Understanding the Socio-Environmental Systems of Anatolia and Interactions from Kültepe-Kanesh and Paleoecological Records
JAMES NEWHARD, HUGH ELTON, and JOHN HALDON – Assessing Continuity and Change in the Sixth to Ninth Century Landscape of North-Central Anatolia
II. Events, Landscapes, and People: Change and Response
CHARLOTTE PEARSON – Re-Thinking Thera: Tree-Rings, Radiocarbon, and Response in the Second Millennium BCE
LEE MORDECHAI – The Justinianic Plague: Pressing Questions, Interdisciplinary Answers?
JOSH ENGLAND, HUGH ELTON, ANNELEY HADLAND, ÇETİN ŞENKUL, PATRICK FREE, and WARREN J. EASTWOOD – Olive Cultivation at High Altitudes in Anatolia: Exploiting Micro-Localities in Ancient Asia Minor
ADAM IZDEBSKI – The Environmental Consequences of the Coming of the Turks to Anatolia
SEMİH ÇELİK and CHRISTINA LUKE – Of Wetlands and Reclamation Regimes: Climate Change, Social Upheaval, and Political Practice in Western Anatolia
JOHN HALDON and CHRISTOPHER H. ROOSEVELT – Whither the Wind Blows: Environmental History and Archaeology in Anatolia