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A case study of human-environment interaction from Northern Oman

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Education Room, Level 3, Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney

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University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006

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Overshooting a moving threshold in marginal landscapes: A case study of human-environment interaction in Northern Oman | Amir Zaribaf (USYD)

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One of the greatest challenges in archaeology is understanding human-environment interaction, which is densely correlated with the pressing issues of climate change and continuous exhaustion of our biocapacity. Through the course of human evolution as populations expanded, many human groups have sought strategies of resource intensification- the effects of which negatively impacted the environment and thus drove novelty in cultural evolution. One of the regions in which human impact is most visible is in West Asia where arid and semi-arid environments are particularly susceptible to anthropogenic pressures.

Using state-of-the-art methods in satellite remote sensing, archaeological survey, and computational modelling we are studying the environmental impact of pyrometallurgical activities in Southeastern Arabia. This region, which is endowed with one of the largest reserves of copper in West Asia, witnessed three major periods of copper production since the Bronze Age (ca. 3000-1200 BC), that are bracketed in time by 1000-year periods of reduced activity. In the framework of the Archaeological Water Histories of Oman Project (ArWHO), we are investigating whether the periodic production phenomena also known as the periodicity issue can be explained by depletion of fuel resources due to environmental degradation and deforestation caused by overexploitation and overshooting of the ecological threshold.

Amir Zaribaf is a postgraduate student in the Department of Archaeology, at the University of Sydney.

The USYD Archaeology, Museum and Heritage seminar series is free and open to the public. You can attend in-person at the Chau Chak Wing Museum or via Zoom, however registration is essential. You can find out how to plan your visit to the Chau Chak Wing Museum here. Zoom attendees agree to abide the by the University of Sydney's ICT policy.

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Education Room, Level 3, Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney

University Place

University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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