The interplay of environment, social relations, material culture, population dynamics, and human perception are the key factors of socio-environmental changes. The exploration of processes and parameters of societal change enable further exploration of transformations of human-environmental interactions. These processes and parameters are detectable in the development of, for example, settlement systems, material culture, or ritual sites, which link different socio-environmental components. Humans and environments deeply shaped each other, creating diverse social, environmental, and cultural constellations. On the one hand, examining the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena and processes, which substantially marked past human development, can lead to a deeper understanding of the development of societies. On the other hand, a focus on transformation patterns within momentous developments of past societies opens up the possibility of identifying substantial and enduring re-organisation of socio-environmental interaction patterns.
A transdisciplinary effort of scientists and scholars is necessary to achieve a better understanding of the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena, as well as processes of transformation in a crucial period of human history, from late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers to state societies.
Within this framework, the Johanna-Mestorf-Academy (with the Cluster of Excellence “ROOTS” and the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 “Scales of Transformation”) are pleased to invite senior and junior researchers to the KIEL CONFERENCE 2023: SCALES OF SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL CHANGE IN PAST SOCIETIES in the tradition of the “Open Workshop: Socio-Environmental Dynamics Over the Last 15,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes”. This will be the seventh conference in this series, following those in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The scientific programme of this conference aims to promote discussion by merging themes that explore the roots of social, environmental, and cultural phenomena and processes, well as different scales of transformations in prehistoric and archaic societies. Therefore, the sessions intend to explore wide diachronic and interdisciplinary spectra: From Late glacial societies to communities of pre-modern cites, from topics on human adaptation and coping strategies, to those on burial rites, residential behaviour, the formation of complex networks, and past health, as well as different theoretical and methodological approaches covering social, physical, life, and formal sciences.
We would like to thank all of the attendees, keynote speakers, and convener of the Kiel Conference. This was a great event and we are grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that was put into it. We hope that you all have gained valuable knowledge and insights into “Scales of Social, Environmental & Cultural change in Past Societies”. We look forward to seeing you all again at the next Kiel Conference in March 2025. Until then, take care and goodbye!