The papers in this book were first presented at the Association for Environmental Archaeology conference at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1998. The aim of the conference was to encourage contributors to examine the inter-relationships between classes of data that have increasingly come to be treated in isolation and to encourage thinking about theory in environmental archaeology. Authors have focused on explicit development of theory, others on bridging barriers between different fields of study or classes of evidence. The notion that people are influenced, but not necessarily determined, by the environments in which they live, may seem like a truism, but an ecodynamic perspective however requires us to question the human impact on the environment, disregarding agrecultural influences. Human Ecodynamics discuss how people have been affecting, and affected by environmental variables around them since the biginning of time. Archaeologists are peculiarly well placed to link culture and nature together as the discipline decerns thriving socio-cultural and biological traditions. This thinking is applied to the way in which we conduct our studies of the world around us, and to the boundaries between the various disciplines and sub-disciplines into which we sub-divide the subject matter of investigation.
Introduction (Geoff Bailey, Ruth Charles and Nick Winder) Section 1. Theoretical Perspectives 1. Contemporary human ecodynamics and the mathematics of history (Nick Winder) 2. On the complex nature of microbial ecodynamics in relation to earlier human palaeoecology (Don Brothwell) 3. Human refuse as a major ecological factor in medieval urban vertebrate communities (Terry O'Connor) 4. Settlement and territory: a socio-ecological approach to the evolution of settlement systems (John Bintliff) Section 2. Environmental interactions 5. Tectonics, Volcanism, Landscape structure and human evolution in the African Rift (Geoff Bailey, Geoffrey King and Isabelle Manighetti) 6. Bronze Age human ecodynamics in the Humber Estuary (Robert Van de Noort and William Fletcher) 7. Refuting the land degradation myth for Boeotia (Robert S. Shiel) 8. Sorting dross from data: possible indicators of post-depositional assemblage biasing in archaeological palynology (M. Jane Bunting and Richard Tipping) 9. Late Holocene fluctuations in the composition of Montane forest in the Rukiga Highlands, Central Africa: a regional reconstruction (Robert Marchant, David Taylor and Alan Hamilton) Section 3. The exploitation of plants and animals 10. Beaver territories: the resource potential for humans (Bryony Coles) 11. Later Stone Age hunter-gatherer adaptations in the lesotho Highlands, Southern Africa (Peter Mitchell and Ruth Charles) 12. The aquatic basis of ancient civilisations: the case of Synodontis schall and the Nile Valley (Rosemary Luff and Geoff Bailey) 13. Danebury Environs: agricultural change in the Iron Age (Gill Campbell and Julie Hamilton) Section 4. Health, pathology and disease 14. Palaeopathology and horse doemstication: the case of some Iron Age horses from the Altai Mountains, Siberia (Marsha A. Levine, Geoff N. Bailey, Katherine E. Whitwell and Leo B. Jeffcott) 15. An evaluation of the possible use of nitrogen isotopes to detect milking in cattle (Andrew R. Millard) 16. Human skeletal remains: putting the humans back into human ecodynamics (Megan Brickley)