Who Follows the Elephant Will Have Problems: Thought on Modelling Roman Responses to Climate (Changes)

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Emerging societal complexity is closely linked to water systems within archaeology. When studying water-based societies, climate is usually conceptualized as an external force. Such an perspective risks missing how societal agents change both meaning and effects of climatic changes. This chapter proposes to develop an model-approach based on continuous interactions between humans and landscapes. The examples come from three case studies outside the Roman world: the Hohokam (500–1500 AD, current Arizona), the Zerqa Triangle, Jordan, during the Late Bronze Age (c. 1300–1100 BC), and the Maya city of Tikal (250 AD–900 AD, current Guatemala). The ideas that can be developed through these cases are compared to conceptualizations from recent publications discussing modelling of/in the Roman world. In general, this chapter argues that larger-scale and longer-term correlations have to be explained in terms of causalities between short-term agencies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change and Ancient Societies in Europe and the Near East: Diversity in Collapse and Resilience
EditorsPaul Erdkamp, Joseph G. Manning, Koenraad Verboven
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-81103-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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