The research group “Environment and Human Impact in Historical Societies” focuses on the complex relations between humans and their environment in historical societies, which are characterised by anthropologically altered ecosystems. A central focus is, on the one hand, the issue of how human actions shaped the environment and contributed to lasting transformations; while on the other hand the question is addressed of how human societies have adapted their strategies in managing changing environmental conditions. The themes extend from patterns of land use and agrarian systems to food trade and subsistence patterns to the impact assessment of migration, epidemics, and war damages, yet also massive human interventions affecting the natural environment, for example by the expansion of settlements or monumental building projects.
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