The goal of this monograph is to emphasize with empirical data the complexity of the relationship between climate change and violence. Bioarchaeology is the integration of human skeletal remains from ancient societies with the cultural and environmental context. Information on mortality, disease, diet and other factors provide important data to examine long chronologies of human existence, particularly during periods of droughts and life-threatening climate changes. Case studies are used to reconstruct the responses and short and long-term adaptations made by groups before, during and after dramatic changes in weather and climate. Interpersonal and group violence is also analyzed. The authors find that while in some cases there is an increase in trauma and violence, in other cases there is not. Human groups are capable of avoiding violent altercations and increasing broad networks of cooperation that help to mitigate the effects of climate change. A case study from the U.S. Southwest is provided that shows the variable and surprising ways that ancient farmers in the past dealt with long term droughts.
About the Author
Ryan P. Harrod is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Debra L. Martin is the Lincy professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior collaborations include the coedited volume. The Bioarchaeology of Violence and the coauthored book Bioarchaeology: An Integrated Approach to Working with Human Remains.