INQUA congress 2015

The 19th INQUA Congress will include a session about "Human dynamics in hot deserts" on 29th July 2015, which some researchers involved in the SimulPast project are contributing to convene.  These SimulPast researchers will also present their results during the session, as follows.

Oral session H14, Human dynamics in hot deserts : Human adaptation to tropical and subtropical desert environments in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene (29th July, Room 224):

· "Human dynamics in hot deserts - an overview", by M. Madella (09:00-09:15)

· "Fan's End: Local variability and the interactions between people and landscape in the arid inland deltas of Central Asia", by S. Markofsky (10:15-10:30)

· "Soil and people on the margins of the Thar Desert. Preliminary results on linkages between the genesis of interdunal soils and human settlement in Holocene North Gujarat (NorthWest India)", by A. Balbo et al. (11:10-11:25)


Session abstract: "In this session, we will discuss the significance of tropical and subtropical desert regions with special emphasis on human evolution and the environmental adaptation. The main focus is on regional aspects of adaptation, evolution and change of human society in tropical and subtropical deserts in relation with environmental and climatic change over the past 200ka. We welcome contributions from archaeology, anthropology, palaeoenvironments, palaeoclimatology, geomorphology, hydrology, and interdisciplinary approaches, from tropical and subtropical desert regions worldwide. Contributions may cover a broad range of time scales, from 102 (0.1k) to 104 (10k) years. Contributions to the session will challenge the view of arid zones as a giant Anökmene (a sort of no man's land), a term used in antiquity to describe deserts found in the low and medium latitudes in Eurasia and Africa. Such arid zones have traditionally been considered unsuitable for human society mainly due to the low carrying capacity that characterized them. It has also been considered that the emergence and development of integrated agro-pastoral societies should be caused of population movement from or contact with civilizations of adjacent areas. However, recent studies reveal a long history of human settlements of such regions, based on the long-term adaptation to the specific regional environmental and climatic conditions. Chronologically, desert settlements dates back to the Late Pleistocene, or the Middle Palaeolithic with hunter-gatherer groups inhabiting such areas well before the establishment of urban civilization."