Challenging climate change

Competition and cooperation among pastoralists and agriculturalists in northern Mesopotamia (c. 3000-1600 BC)

Arne Wossink | 2009

Challenging climate change

Competition and cooperation among pastoralists and agriculturalists in northern Mesopotamia (c. 3000-1600 BC)

Arne Wossink | 2009

ISBN: 9789088900310

Imprint: Sidestone Press Dissertations | Format: 210x297mm | 183 pp. | PhD Thesis, Leiden University, the Netherlands | Language: English | download cover

Throughout history, climate change has been an important driving force behind human behaviour. This archaeological study seeks to understand the complex interrelations between that behaviour and climatic fluctuations, focussing on how climate affected the social relations between neighbouring communities of occasionally differing nature. It is argued that developments in these relations will fall within a continuum between competition on one end and cooperation on the other. The adoption of a particular strategy depends on whether that strategy is advantageous to a community in terms of the maintenance of its well-being when faced with adverse climate change.

This model will be applied to northern Mesopotamia between 3000 and 1600 bc. Local palaeoclimate proxy records demonstrate that aridity increased significantly during this period. Within this geographical, chronological, and climatic framework, this study looks at changes in settlement patterns as an indication of competition among sedentary agriculturalist communities, and the development of the Amorite ethnic identity as reflecting cooperation among sedentary and more mobile pastoralist communities.

Dr. Arne Wossink

Arne Wossink studied Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at Leiden University. In 2009 he received his PhD on a thesis entitled Challenging climate change. Competition and cooperation among pastoralists and agriculturalists in northern Mesopotamia (c. 3000-1600 BC). In the same year, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to Arne Wossink for his research proposal A bird’s eye view: analyzing the effects of modern development on the archaeology of the Shahrazur Valley, Iraq.

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Abstract:

Throughout history, climate change has been an important driving force behind human behaviour. This archaeological study seeks to understand the complex interrelations between that behaviour and climatic fluctuations, focussing on how climate affected the social relations between neighbouring communities of occasionally differing nature. It is argued that developments in these relations will fall within a continuum between competition on one end and cooperation on the other. The adoption of a particular strategy depends on whether that strategy is advantageous to a community in terms of the maintenance of its well-being when faced with adverse climate change.

This model will be applied to northern Mesopotamia between 3000 and 1600 bc. Local palaeoclimate proxy records demonstrate that aridity increased significantly during this period. Within this geographical, chronological, and climatic framework, this study looks at changes in settlement patterns as an indication of competition among sedentary agriculturalist communities, and the development of the Amorite ethnic identity as reflecting cooperation among sedentary and more mobile pastoralist communities.

Dr. Arne Wossink

Arne Wossink studied Archaeology of the Ancient Near East at Leiden University. In 2009 he received his PhD on a thesis entitled Challenging climate change. Competition and cooperation among pastoralists and agriculturalists in northern Mesopotamia (c. 3000-1600 BC). In the same year, the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to Arne Wossink for his research proposal A bird’s eye view: analyzing the effects of modern development on the archaeology of the Shahrazur Valley, Iraq.

read more









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