Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years

20.03 - 24.03.2017  
Kiel, Germany

The International Open Workshop "Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes V" will be held in Kiel, Germany, from 20-24 March 2017.


The Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at Kiel University gladly hosted the international Open Workshop “Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes IV” in Kiel in 2015 for the fourth time, after 2009, 2011 and 2013.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to discuss the interaction between physical and social landscapes as the most profound process that catalyses human activities in space and time; and the interplay of environments, social relationships, material culture, population dynamics, and human perceptions of socio-environmental change.


The abstract submission deadline is 30 November 2016. Go to the workshop website to register and submit.

Full paper is encouraged to be submitted by the workshop time as we offer the opportunity to publish a book of the session proceedings. Financial support is available for selected participants.

PAGES-relevant sessions

Session tittle: Interrelationships of climate, environment and socio-cultural changes through mid to late Holocene.
Conveners: Dr Liang Yang, Prof Mara Weinelt, Prof Ingmar Unkel, Asli Oflaz, Clemens von Scheffer.

Climate change is a comprehensive social challenge, and it is also a multiplier exacerbating social stresses which eventually may have led to civilization demise (e.g. Haug et al. 2003; Wiener 2014) in especially long time scale, e.g. century or millennial scale. Understanding the linkages thus requires strong input from paleoclimate, ancient society and archaeology. In the eastern Mediterranean area, coherent patterns and synchronous events in history suggest certain links between social upheaval and climate forcing (Dalfes et al. 1997; Clarke et al. 2016). However, links between climatic, environmental and societal change manifested differently in different locales and remain often unclear (Clarke et al. 2016).

The session aims to discuss the social transformations that took place in regions where climate proxies indicate rapid and/or high amplitude changes, for instance, the 4.2ka BP event surrounding the Mediterranean. Studies of the Central and Southeast Europe, Middle East, Central Asia are highly welcome.

Specific topics include (but are not limited to):
- Paleoclimate change regarding land, water, crops, animals, etc. and the associated changes in ecosystem services
- Proxy reconstructions of natural and social-induced disasters and the impacts
- Climate-related human mobility and demographic changes, and the implications for social inequality
- Conflicts, cooperation, institution and social organization in terms of environmental stresses
- Approaches in constructing narratives around the relationships between climatic and social changes
- Quantification, modelling and uncertainties in studying the co-evolution process of socio-ecosystems


Please also inform the conveners of your abstract submission:

Dr. Liang Emlyn Yang
Postdoctoral fellow
Graduate School Human Development in Landscapes
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Leibnizstraße 3
D-24118 Kiel, Deutschland
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel. +49 431 880 5465

Session tittle: Agent based modelling of human-environmental interactions in archaeology: Putting models into practices
Conveners: Dr Martin Hinz, Dr Liang Yang.

Like it or not, we live in interesting times... (Kennedy 1966). In archaeology we experience something that could probably be called new realism. In the wake of the success of scientific methods in archaeology like isotope or aDNA studies a new interest on quantification and modelling approaches is noticeable (Kristiansen 2014). At the same time lessons learned in the past 20 years of theoretical discussions, namely the importance of individuals in the study of ancient societies, is not forgotten. Moreover, the terms "complexity" and "emergence" are increasingly common within the vocabulary of archaeological discussion. Regarding this it is certain that social and natural systems are inseparable, and that most of these systems are nonlinear. Recently Kintigh et al. (2014) formulated the "Grand challenges for archaeology" for the future. Among them, the investigation of "coupled human and natural systems" (CHANS) have a prominent position.

All these demands fit well with the framework of agent based modelling. It seems to be the time to realize the rich potential that the method offers for actual applications, especially for the inquiry regarding the mechanisms of human environment interactions. "The long-term, strong relationship between archaeologists interested in human/environmet dynamics and ABMs derives from ABM’s developed capacity to understand principles of adaptation and feedbacks, both germane to archaeology’s emphasis on understanding the influential role of the environment in human behavior" (Cegielski/Rogers 2016). Within this session we would like to explore the state of the art and the potential regarding the application of ABMs for reconstruction and analysis of ancient CHANS. The focus will be on, e.g. dynamic process models, impact-feedback interactions, stress-response systems, and models of human decision making in dealing with and evoking changing environmental conditions.

Specific topics include (but are not limited to):
- Impacts of land use/cover change in (pre-)historical periods in society and environment
- Human migration and demographic changes, and the implications for stability and equality
- Conflicts, cooperation, institution and social organization in early human societies
- Co-evolution process of human-society-ecosystems


Dr. Martin Hinz: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dr. Liang Yang: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.