CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Cluster F: “Socio-Environmental Components of Change”

Graphic Cluster F

Cluster F is divided in five sub-projects (F1-F6), which are embedded in the research environment of focus 3. The projects concentrate on specific triggers, factors or components of transformation and related processes such as climate, demography and disease, vegetation and technology.

F1: Climate Constraints of Western Mediterranean Socio-environmental Transformation and Potential Implications for Central Europe

F2: Socio-environmental Transformations and Interdependencies

F3: Dynamics of Plant Economies in Ancient Societies

F4: Tracing Infectious Diseases by Analysis of Ancient Human Genomes and Skeletal Pathology

F5: Social Dimensions of Technological Change

F6: Population Dynamics and Socio-environmental Transformation

Cluster F focuses on the assessment of general patterns of transformation at the interface of social and environmental dynamics.

In this context, environment is understood as the natural background for cultural development, providing natural resources and constraints. Human communities in this context are understood as drivers and receptors of environmental change. The human-environmental relationship is regarded to be characterized by non-linear dynamics in which phases of stability or gradual change alternate with phases of rapid transformation. To reconstruct interdependencies, the magnitude and speed of processes are important.

In Cluster F, the spatial scale reaches from local to trans-regional phenomena, whereas the temporal scale includes different time spans of human exsistence.

Investigations will analyse single archaeological features, involve several archaeological sites and environmental archives. These archives represent different catchment areas and reach transects spanning throughout Europe. The temporal scale can be subdivided and relates to long lasting processes (several human generations), the span of a human lifetime (diseases, nutrition) or to significant events (abrupt climate change or weather extremes).

Each of the five projects will focus on specific spatial and temporal resolutions as preconditions for comparability in the frame of the CRC. In addition to the identification of environmental and cultural transformations, discussions of these phenomena will have to consider that probable effects will depend on the vulnerability and resilience of societies to external and internal disturbances. Main aims of Cluster F include (1) the reconstruction and quantification of the human role on environmental change concerning, e.g., the extraction of resources, the course of diseases, and technological changes during phases of socio-cultural transformation, (2) the reconstruction and quantification of the role of environmental change as a potential driver of cultural transformation and (3) the identification of prime drivers and thresholds and their interpretation within the context of the differential vulnerability and resilience of ecological and socio-cultural systems.

Based on a cross-cutting methodology, Cluster F will provide analyses while taking advantage of comprehensive case studies, as brought together in Clusters B–E regarding differential social contexts at major archaeological transition events. In turn, these individual studies will benefit from crucial information on the general patterns of transformation that will often also be applicable to regional transformation scenarios.


New Publications