Call for Papers: The environmental archaeology of landscapes and land-use

The environmental archaeology of landscapes and land-use - image reproduced with permission from Steve Forden (copyright)

The environmental archaeology of landscapes and land-use

42nd Conference of the Association for Environmental Archaeology, 2-4 December 2022, with optional fieldtrip Monday 5 December 2022
University of Glasgow and University of Pennsylvania, USA (remotely)

Organisers: Nicki Whitehouse, Matt Jacobson, Gareth Beale (University of Glasgow); Xiaolin Ren (University of Glasgow and Chinese Academy of Sciences); Kathy Morrison (University of Pennsylvania)

Call for papers

The 42nd conference of the Association for Environmental Archaeology will be hosted at the University of Glasgow over the 2-4 December 2022; colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania will co-host aspects of the programme remotely.

Humans do not live in isolation from nature. In this conference, we would like to explore our changing relationships to landscapes and land use and consider how humans and non-humans have developed entangled and complex relationships with other beings. We are interested in the ways archaeology can enable us to examine these relationships in the past, especially when it comes to more creative ways to think about landscapes and human activities within them.

An important area where we have impacted landscapes is around changing land use, often instigated by agricultural practices. What have the effects of these activities been on our landscapes and how have these shaped by cultural activities and human agency? Major historical transitions, such as the start of the Neolithic, and technological advances, such as intensification of agriculture or urbanization processes, have driven major changes in land use. Thus, human land use activities are known drivers of vegetation change and can also produce potentially significant levels of greenhouse gases. How can we improve our understanding of these effects from analysis of the archaeological and palaeoecological record? 

Finally, an additional interest is around what we can learn from approaches developed within the digital humanities, for example, in thinking about and interpreting human relationships to landscapes and places?

The conference will showcase research that explores our relationships to landscapes and land use to consider how we have shaped our modern world and its current ecological and climate crisis. We are interested in hearing about research that investigates the environmental archaeology of landscapes and land-use studies that utilise archaeological and historical evidence, including texts, maps, images, settlement datasets, artifacts, plant and animal remains, biomolecular evidence, taking a variety of perspectives; we are also keen to welcome contributions from the digital humanities that engage with these lines of evidence as well as the broader themes of the conference.

We are looking for papers that consider:

  • Human-induced changes to landscapes, land use and environments at all scales
  • Considerations of how human activities have shaped our cultural landscapes
  • Engagement with more-than-human and multi species approaches that offer new ways of thinking about our past landscapes and place in the world;
  • Consideration of how past land-use change is a major driver of our current ecological and climate crisis
  • Consideration of the creative ways offered for exploring and understanding past landscapes and land use through digital media
  • What lessons can be learnt by bringing together different focal approaches towards a more sustainable, culturally informed future?

The deadline for oral abstracts is 22 August 2022, using the template provided (Paper or poster abstract submission template), of no more than 300 words and submitted to

General queries on the conference and programme can be addressed to 

Poster abstracts are also welcomed: Paper or poster abstract submission template

Register to attend the conference

First published: 11 July 2022