Agricultural strategies and environmental change in the ancient eastern Mediterranean

Lecture | October 2 | 12-1 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)

 John M. Marston, Associate Professor, Anthropology, Boston University

 Archaeological Research Facility

Identifying how societies make decisions about agricultural practices is important for understanding why some agricultural systems flourish over hundreds or thousands of years while others lead to environmental degradation and societal collapse. Archaeological data offer a unique long-term perspective on the sustainability of agriculture and how societies adapt to complex, intertwined changes in environment and economy on both local and regional scales. In this talk, I present recent work from an ancient urban center in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), where complex agricultural strategies were employed to adapt to coincident environmental and social change on both local and regional scales. I conclude that a nuanced understanding of political economy is necessary to elucidate agricultural decision making and helps to predict patterns of anthropogenic environmental change.

 arf-programs@berkeley.edu