Stephan Matthiesen

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New website on climate and history (in German) online

My new website "Klima und Geschichte" ("climate and history") is now online at the URL With this website I combine my interests in archaeology with my interests in climate science.

Both disciplines see rapid advances of new research, and we understand increasingly better how human history has been influenced by climate factors and climate change - or hasn't, because human societies are not passive recipients of environmental factors ("climate/environmental determinism"), but usually have a certain range of freedoms and options to react to the environment and also shape it. The limits and possibilities for action are a combination of environment, ressources, social structure, culture and history.

While climate researchers on the one side and archaeologists and historians on the other side contribute many new insights, communication and mutual understanding across the disciplines is not always easy. Furthermore, every person - not just academic researchers - has personal connections to history: as descendant of earlier people, as member of society, as inhabitant of a region that's perceived as home. With the website "Klima und Geschichte" I also hope to make a small contribution to the information exchange between everybody who is interested in these topics.

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