23. Mai 2018 – 24. Mai 2018

Collapse and Inequality

Viewpoints from later prehistory

A workshop at OREA organized by CoPOWER’s Elisa Perego and collaborators

Political disintegration, economic crises, the controversial and yet dramatic consequences of global warming and pollution, as well as the spread of poverty and social disruption in western countries, have made collapse one of the key topics in the humanities and social sciences. In the frenetic run for identifying the global causes and large-scale consequences of collapse, however, crisis events taking place at the micro-scale are not always explored by scholars addressing these issues in present and past societies. At the same time, the voices of the marginal and non-élite people that might be the main victims of collapse events are often silenced in ancient history and archaeology.

This workshop will address questions such as: How can collapse be identified in the archaeological record? What kind of archaeological, bioarchaeological and environmental evidence can be considered indicative of collapse? Is it appropriate to use this term for crisis events that take place at the micro-scale without evidence of extensive destruction in the archaeological record?

Topics of interest for our discussion include, but are not limited to, how crisis events affect the lives of people with different identities; the role of socially excluded groups in collapse events; climate change and climate downturns; “micro-scale” cases of natural disaster; migration and displacement; technology and production in contexts of intense socio-cultural change; cultural resistance and survival.

Collapse and Inequality is an output of the CoPOWER MSCA Project based at the OREA Institute. Building on the long-term projects “Collapse or Survival” and “The End of the Spectrum: Towards an Archaeology of Marginality” at UCL, this workshop contributes to the new research group at OREA “Prehistoric Identities”.

If you are interested in contributing with a 20-minute lecture or a 10-minute debate talk, please contact Elisa Perego and Veronica Tamorri.

Further information will follow soon.