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Institute of Archaeology

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Environmental Change, Sustainability and Cultural Adaptation

The UCL Institute of Archaeology undertakes a wide range of research projects addressing past and current concerns about environmental fragility and the origins of anthropogenic climate change.

Panorama of Orinoco landscape

Institute staff engage in the broadest spectrum of methods for studying prehistoric and historic landscapes including palaeoenvironmental studies, GlS, large-scale field survey/excavation, phenomenology and anthropological studies. Multi-period field projects include the study of whole islands – Easter Island, Greek islands, and major regional surveys in Iraq, Turkmenistan, Turkey, southern Italy, as well as period specific studies including the Bronze Age Knossos, and British medieval landscapes.

Institute staff undertake research on the evolution of cultivation and anthropogenic soils; on impacts of natural coastal change; on hydrology and salinization, and societal resilience; on social institutions for water management and on long-term human landscape use in fragile environments. Staff work to develop our understanding of risk perception and resilience, and advance our investigation of the origins of anthropogenic climate change. The Institute has dedicated geoarchaeological and GIS laboratory facilities supporting these research areas.

Projects