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Human Communities in a Drying Landscape: Holocene Climate Change and Cultural Response in the Central Sahara

  • Mauro CremaschiEmail author
  • Andrea Zerboni
Chapter

Abstract

Dagge and Hamad (2008) report that Syria is in the midst of an environmental emergency occasioned by a drought that has affected the region since 2006. Massive crop failure with harvests down by a half has produced conditions where famine and even societal collapse might be expected. Fortunately, the Syrian government has been able to ameliorate the problem with imports of food and potable water. In the distant past disasters could not have been avoided in this way, and famine would have resulted in the disaggregation of the community or at least would have forced a drastic change in survival strategies. Episodes similar to those now affecting Syria have caused societal crises throughout prehistory and history, with climate change and human abuse of landscape and natural resources playing crucial roles (Diamond 2005). Of course, local differences need to be understood and treasured. The reaction of the physical environment (the landscape) to stress is not uniform across the globe, regardless of whether we consider climate change, the impact of grazing, or any other human activity.

Keywords

Wind Erosion Alluvial Plain Faunal Remains Wild Cereal Mesolithic Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The data exposed in this chapter were collected during the research conducted in the frame of the Italian-Libyan Archaeological Mission in the Acacus and Messak of the University of Rome, La Sapienza (at present leaded by S. di Lernia), from 1992 and 2003 under the direction of F. Mori and M. Liverani, with the supervision of the Department of Archaeology of Tripoli (DOA, Director Giuma Anag).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra “A. Desio”Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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