The exhibition is organized by John Haldon, Warren Eastwood and Neil Roberts for the CCHRI. It will be presented for 12 months since September 2021.
Aims of the exhibition
This exhibition explores the ways in which history converges with the environmental sciences that focus on the past, and in particular on the Anatolian past. Interactions between a society and its environment are not simple. The purpose of the exhibition will be to show how historians and archaeologists are working natural scientists to make major contributions to understanding the history of Anatolian landscapes and civilizations, and how those contributions are set to expand and become increasingly refined in the future. How can we discover the ways in which past societies responded to and accommodated changes in their physical environments? How did they respond to climate change or to natural events such as droughts, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions? And how did those responses impact society, politics, and culture; how did they impact the history of Anatolia? Case studies will cover the breadth of the Anatolian past with a special focus on the Byzantine period.
Knowing how past societies responded to such challenges is not just about the past, however: it can also inform contemporary planning and policy making. Historians, archaeologists and scientists working together can warn against hasty assumptions about the relationship between society and environmental stress, and scientists can provide more precise environmental context for societies and events that historians and archaeologists are studying. The exhibition will also indicate ways in which this sort of research can be relevant to Anatolia today.