Thirsty Talks presents our 6th Talk: Looking Back to Plan Ahead: Archaeological Perspectives on Land Use and Climate Change
This talk will focus on Ian’s PhD research in northern Mongolia examining the effects of nomads on the forest-steppe landscape and what this means for the future of the region (and planet) under increasingly warmer global temperatures.
For nearly 4,000 years, people living in the northern part of Mongolia – where the boreal forest meets the Eurasian grassland steppe – have been herding horses, sheep, goats and yak, moving seasonally and systematically to provide the best food and shelter for their animals. Pastoralism is often considered to be a relatively low intensity form of land use, though this research argues that low intensity does not mean low impact.
The activities of ancient people significantly influenced the way landscapes and environments have developed over the last several thousand years, in turn affecting their vulnerability to modern and future climatic changes. Can we better understand the environmental impacts of today’s climate change crisis by looking to the past?
Ian Ostericher is a photographer and PhD candidate in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His work explores various human-environmental interactions in the past and present. He has worked around the world including Egypt, Mongolia, the Philippines and Central and Western Europe.
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