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Durham University

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Lawrence, D., Philip, G., Wilkinson, K., Buylaert, J.P., Murray, A.S., Thompson, W. & Wilkinson, T.J. (2017). Regional Power and Local Ecologies: Accumulated Population Trends and Human Impacts in the Northern Fertile Crescent. Quaternary International 437(Part B): 60-81.

Author(s) from Durham


Archaeological data tend to be gathered at the local level: human agency also operates at this scale. By combining data from multiple surveys conducted within a larger area, it is possible to use local datasets to obtain a perspective on regional trends in settlement, population, and human activity. Here we employ data derived from nine archaeological surveys in the northern and western regions of the Fertile Crescent (west and north Syria, SE Turkey, and northern Iraq) to show how local trends aggregate to create a general proxy record of settlement and regional population. In addition, we use geoarchaeological data from a region extending from Homs in the west to northern Iraq in the east to outline historical trends in alluvial fill development. Both settlement and alluviation trends are then related to palaeoclimate proxy data from Soreq Cave and Lake Van. Settlement, geoarchaeological signatures and climate are then examined side by side in order to assess long-term human interactions.