Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics

1st Edition

A Global Perspective on Mid-Holocene Transitions

Print ISBN: 9780120883905
eBook ISBN: 9780080554556
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 12th October 2007
Page Count: 602
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The Middle Holocene epoch (8,000 to 3,000 years ago) was a time of dramatic changes in the physical world and in human cultures. Across this span, climatic conditions changed rapidly, with cooling in the high to mid-latitudes and drying in the tropics. In many parts of the world, human groups became more complex, with early horticultural systems replaced by intensive agriculture and small-scale societies being replaced by larger, more hierarchial organizations. Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics explores the cause and effect relationship between climatic change and cultural transformations across the mid-Holocene (c. 4000 B.C.).

Key Features

  • Explores the role of climatic change on the development of society around the world
  • Chapters detail diverse geographical regions
  • Co-written by noted archaeologists and paleoclimatologists for non-specialists


Researchers and advanced undergraduate and graduate students in earth sciences, paleoclimatology, anthropology, and related disciplines.

Table of Contents

Contents list.List of figures. Preface and Acknowledgments. Foreword. Climate and Culture Change: Exploring Holocene Transitions Mid-Holocene climate and culture change in coastal Peru. Mid-Holocene climate and culture change in the South Central Andes. Mid-Holocene Climate and cultural dynamics in Brazil and the Guianas. Culture and Climate in Mesoamerica during the middle holocene. Middle holocene environments of North and East Africa, with special emphasis on the African Sahara. Influence of holocene marine transgression and climate change on cultural evolution in Southern Mesopotamia. Mid-Holocene cultural dynamics and climate change in the Western Pacific. Mid Holocene climate and cultural dynamics in Easter Central Asia. Mid-Holocene Climate change and cultural dynamics in the basin of the Sea of Japan and Adjacent Areas Mid-Holocene Climatic and Cultural dynamics in Northern Europe. Mid-Holocene Cultural adaptations to central Maine. Mid-Holocen Cultural dynamics in Southeastern North America Mid-Holocene culture and climate on the Northwest coast of North America. Middle holocene climate change and population dispersal in Western North America.


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"Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics is an interesting collection of papers dealing with a variety of mid-Holocene environments and communities. The spatial and temporal variablity evident here can serve as a reminder of the perils of over-generalization. The contrast between areas where archaeologists and climatologists have collaborated effectively, and those where further disciplinary integration remains to be accomplished, provides an indication of the value of Quaternarists working together. Certainly, the approach evident in this volume could be profitably adapted for the range of Quaternary studies. With its emphasis on exploration of problems from multiple perspectives and approaches, and its innovative use of interdisciplinary collaboration, Climate Change and Cultural Dynamics is a fitting tribute to Thor Heyerdahl." -- Norm Catto, Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, in Quaternary International.