This module explores the complex relationship between humans and the natural environment since the end of the last Ice Age. The environment provides a critical backdrop to human activity, and an understanding of the relationship between people and their environment is fundamental to our understanding of societal development. In this module, students examine the main drivers of environmental change during the Holocene, and explore the impact of those changes on human behaviour. The role of social, economic and political constraints on shaping human responses to environmental change are also evaluated. Through a series of case studies from different time periods and geographic locations, students develop a critical perspective of the integration of archaeological and palaeoecological data, and an appreciation for how interdisciplinary research can contribute to our understanding of societal vulnerability to environmental change.
You will gain a broad knowledge of the drivers of environmental change during the Holocene, discuss the theoretical and methodological issues related to understanding past human responses to environmental change, evaluate evidence for environmentally-driven societal responses and conduct independent and group research using library and digital resources.
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Gill Plunkett
Note: Some modules may not be offered every year
(Image: Valley of the Tasman River, New Zealand – Wikimedia Commons)