Opuscula review article


In an inaugural article of a new series of review articles in the journal Opuscula, Erika Weiberg and Martin Finné wesketch the outline of research on human-environment dynamics in past Mediterranean societies. It has been a major field of research in the Mediterranean for a long time, but has grown significantly following the increase in the number and quality of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental records in the last two decades.

The outline is based on 1,531 author keywords from 280 peer-reviewed articles published in 78 different scientific journals during 2016–2021. Sourced from the Web of Science, the selected studies cover the time span from the Neolithic to the Roman period across the Mediterranean and provide a large number of entry points for the interested reader regardless of their prior knowledge and specific interests. The results make evident the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of this research and show that it is possible to approach questions of human-environment dynamics in many and diverse ways. Among other things, the overview outlines the importance of temporal and spatial scales, as well as the elusive nature of causality, and highlights that monocausal models connecting climate events and societal collapse are increasingly replaced by scenarios favouring more nuanced renditions of the sequence of events within which internal societal factors are given more room for play.

The article is avaible with Open Access: https://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-15-07