Inaugural events

“Pausanias as nature writer”

Research seminar, 25 September 2020, 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: Christopher Schliephake (University of Augsburg)
Watch again: “Pausanias as nature writer” .

“Life on the edge of the desert: religious and economic landscapes in late antique Egypt”

Research seminar, 9 October 2020 , 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: Louise Blanke (University of Edinburgh)

“In the Shadow of the Desert: The Making of Roman Africa”

Research seminar, 16 October 2020, 4 – 5:30pm.
Speaker: David Mattingly (University of Leicester)

“Interdisciplinary Engagement in Ancient Environmental Studies: Prospects and Problems”

Workshop, 28 October 2020

This inaugural CAES workshop will be held over Microsoft Teams and is open to the public. It aims to facilitate productive dialogue between palaeoenvironmental specialists and more traditional archaeologists, historians, and philologists interested in the environment of the ancient Mediterranean. For those interested in attending, further information will be sent out in September via the CAES mailing list.


All scheduling according to UK time.
Watch again: follow the links in the program to watch the individual recordings.

Ruben Post (St Andrews) – Opening statement (9:00-9:10am)

Panel 1: Climate

David Kaniewski (Toulouse) – Palaeoclimatology (9:10-9:35am)

Jed Kaplan (Hong Kong) – Land use and climate change modeling (9:35-10:00am)

Lin Foxhall (Liverpool) response and question period (10:00-10:30am)

Panel 2: Plant and Animal Remains

Dimitra Mylona (INSTAP) – Zooarchaeology (10:40-11:05am)

Robyn Veal (Cambridge) – Palaeobotany (11:05-11:30am)

Sian Lewis (St Andrews) response and question period (11:30-12:00pm)

Break: 12:00-12:30

Panel 3: Geology and Landscape

Cristiano Nicosia (Padova) – Geoarchaeology and micromorphology (12:30-12:55pm)

Helmut Brückner (Cologne) – Palaeolandscape reconstruction (12:55-1:20pm)

Andrea Brock (St Andrews) response and question period (1:20-1:50pm)

If you are interested in attending, please subscribe to the CAES mailing list.

‘The environmental impact of protohistoric activity in Mediterranean mountains: a review of the roles of climate and people in the story of environmental degradation’

Research seminar, 9 April 2021, 4-5:30pm.
Kevin Walsh (University of York)

Interdisciplinary engagement in ancient environmental studies II: new directions in ecocritical approaches to classical literature

Workshop, Thursday 27 May 2021, 1-5.30 p.m.

  • 1.30-1.35: Introduction
  • 1.35-2.15: Rebecca Armstrong: Time and the vegetable in Ovid’s Fasti
  • 2.15-2.55: Emmanuela Bakola: Between cosmology, environmental philosophy and performance criticism: building a framework for reading Aeschylus’ Oresteia from an ecocritical perspective
  • 2.55-3.10: Break
  • 3.10-3.55: Krešimir Vuković: Wolves, twins, and rivers: beyond nature and culture in early Rome.
  • 3.55-4.35: Mark Usher: The Roman Villa Project: Archaeology, Paleobotany, and Sustainable Agriculture in Italy’s Sabine Hills.
  • 4.35-4.45: Closing discussion.

This event aims to explore some of the opportunities and challenges involved in bringing work on ancient Greek and Latin literature into dialogue with research in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. It also aims to explore the prospects for increased interaction between ecocritical and archaeological/scientific approaches to ancient environments. Oliver Rackham 25 years ago criticised anachronistic ascriptions of ‘environmental consciousness’ to ancient authors based on credulous readings of ancient literary evidence insufficiently informed by scientific approaches (for example in relation to J. Donald Hughes’ work on deforestation). Our starting assumption is that that image of the relationship between literary and scientific perspectives on ancient environments needs to be reassessed given the very rapid developments in both ecocritical and scientific engagement with ancient environments over the last two decades. We envisage a series of work-in-progress papers covering a range of different genres, authors and approaches. Contributors are invited to address some or all of the following questions:

  • How do you see the current state of play in ecocritical/environmental study of the authors and texts you work on? What new prospects/possibilities do you envisage for the future?
  • How should we best articulate the value of ecocritical approaches to ancient literature to those who work on archaeological and paleo-scientific approaches to ancient environments, or to those who work in the environmental humanities outside Classics? What opportunities do you see for bringing these different fields more into dialogue with each other?

If you are interested in attending, please subscribe to the CAES mailing list.

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