INTERACT: Integrating Archaeological and Climatological datasets: Investigating Global Human-Environmental Interactions

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project Details


INTERACT (Integrating Archaeological and Climatological Datasets: Investigating Global Human-Environmental Interactions)

Climate change has always had a marked impact on human society. In the past it was far more extreme in amplitude, if not in rate, than that experienced today; unfortunately this experience provides few models for the present and future since the responses of past communities to these changes still remain largely unknown. Major developments in human society since the end of the Last Ice Age are associated with the intensification of food production; this includes the adoption of farming and the intensification of marine resource exploitation associated with shell midden formation. It has long been assumed that these were brought about by human responses to climate changes, but the reality is likely to be far more complex, with local environments influenced both by climate change, and feedback from human-interactions. The development of more sophisticated theories capable of dealing with this complexity has been hampered by the inability to deal with the large datasets required to undertake detailed global comparisons.

Being able to compare multiple datasets from multiple places and times has the potential to address some of the most pressing modern global issues including climate change, environmental sustainability, food security, heritage and environmental management, by employing a long-term view of human-environmental interaction and socio-economic change that can only be provided by archaeology.

INTERACT aims to:
1) Investigate human-environmental interactions during the Holocene in sub-tropical environments, and thereby investigate the relationship between climate- (and human-) induced environmental changes, and the intensification of food production and aquatic resource exploitation.

2) Develop key methodologies for the uniform treatment of large data-sets.

3) Facilitate worldwide, multidisciplinary comparative studies.

4) Disseminate these approaches to the wider community.

Effective start/end date1/01/1531/07/17


  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION: £220,715.00