The Centre for Ancient Environmental Studies aims to:

  • Give greater prominence to environmental perspectives in studies of the ancient Mediterranean, Europe, and West Asia.
  • Develop new approaches to the study of human responses to and representations of the environment in the ancient world.
  • Facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration between scholars in different subdisciplines, both within and beyond Classics.
  • Encourage scholars to embrace new skills and engage with diverse datasets.
  • Make perspectives on ancient human-environment interactions relevant for the modern day.

Particularly important cross-disciplinary themes for the centre include:

  • Ecological systems and human-environment interactions in the ancient world
  • Challenges of recording and reconstructing past landscapes
  • The cultural and literary significance of landscapes
  • The role of visual arts and literature in constructing the experience of landscapes
  • Ancient perceptions and depictions of the environment and of human relations with the more-than-human world
  • Resilience and sustainability in ancient cultures
  • The impact of human conflicts on the environment
  • The process of long-term environmental change, including climate change, and its impacts today
  • The development of narratives of environmental change, both in antiquity and today

The Centre is also committed to sustainable academic practices that mitigate the environmental consequences of conducting or disseminating our research. For example, we host a remote workshop series that enables productive dialogue with leading researchers from across the world without contributing to the sizable carbon footprint associated with academic travel.

A committee of three members of the School of Classics coordinate the Centre, including its director, Dr Andrea Brock, and two assistant directors, Prof Jason König and Dr Ruben Post.