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Archaeology and Environmental Change: Disciplinary Responses to Modern Crisis

Thursday 25 January 2018
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden


In 2017 climate change increasingly made headlines, including crises such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, sea level rise in Kiribati, and the threat of some regions becoming increasingly inhospitable due to heatwaves, air pollution and the spread of disease.

What does all this mean for archaeology? The regions we work in are in many cases likely to become dangerous and difficult to access. Does this make the archaeological project as we currently see it more urgent than ever? Or does it necessitate a complete overhaul of the way we approach our discipline? Is archaeology still needed in areas where people’s homes, health and lives are in danger? Environmental change may be most severe in places that are already economically disadvantaged, so archaeologists in these regions need to consider their approaches very carefully in order to avoid negative impacts.


Archaeologists at Leiden University work across the globe and are already addressing these questions in their own research. At this PhDebate three researchers will describe the challenges they face in their own study areas, and the various ways in which it might be possible for them to deal with issues relating to changing environmental conditions.

Guest speaker: Sarah Schrader
PhD speakers: Felicia Fricke & Sufyan Al Karaimeh

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