Session abstracts > Session 9

Session 9: Space and time variability of millennial-scale crises during the Holocene

Catherine Kuzucuoğlu1, Aline Garnier2 and Pascal Flohr3

Joint French-German organisation


The Holocene era is subdivided into stages demarcated by major climate change events, which are often argued to have had dramatic impacts upon human populations in such a way that they are often associated with the word “crisis”. This topic is now a much vivid subject through the world. In this context, several questions concern scalar and systemic approaches about 1) the variability, in space and time, of the climatic events (e.g. one or several peaks? how long for each peak? alternations of sub-phases?); 2) impacts of successive climate changes on environments and on societal responses. Addressing these questions may imply a high variety of environmental/climatic proxies, and of cultural dimensions (e.g. memory of previous shortages, organization and actors of economic production and/or resource distribution; new technologies, over-visibility of ruling elites). The awaited discussions will contribute to the definition of the word “crisis” when employed in researches on “climate”, “environment” and “society” data illustrating “changes”

We thus call for contributions about rapid climatic changes during the Holocene, interested in:

- variability of Rapid Climatic Changes (RCC) through space and time. Broadly, this variability concerns: scales of climatic change (from local to ecosystemic and regional; decadal to multi-decadal, centennial to multi-centennial?); components of the RCC(s) (e.g. dry/wet and-or cold/warm alternations);

- role of possible interconnections between geosystems; intensity of the RCC vs. response of the environmental systems

- geoarchaeological contexts during an intensive climate change, in given territories and timing, regarding for example: organization, and exploitation of the resources (production systems, resources (re)distribution systems); type of social tensions (“crisis”); new resources? new technologies?;

- processes at work between the acting elements of change (e.g. climate vs. society): why and how did some past societies succeed -or failed- to face environmental/climatic changes? What role for the interruption of interconnections or for interdependence? What definition for the word “crisis” when applied to Holocene rapid climatic changes and associated transformations? Were cultural “collapses” solutions for transforming a society?




3 – Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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