Agricultural Strategies and Environmental Change in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean

Event Date: 

Friday, November 1, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

John M. Marston studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use, with a focus on ancient societies of the Mediterranean and western and central Asia. His research focuses on how people make decisions about land use within changing economic, social, and environmental settings, and how those decisions affect the environment at local and regional scales. A specialist in paleoethnobotany, Marston’s contributions to the field include novel ways of linking ecological theory with archaeological methods to reconstruct agricultural and land-use strategies from plant and animal remains. Recent interdisciplinary collaborations focus on comparative study of cultural adaptation to environmental and climate change in the past and present; developing new methods to study the spatial distribution of land use from archaeological animal and plant remains; and the ecology of plague. His current field projects include work at multiple Bronze and Iron Age urban centers in Turkey (with ongoing fieldwork at Kerkenes and Gordion) and a multi-period site in Israel (Tel Shimron), as well as work in central Asia (Khorezm Ancient Agriculture Project, Uzbekistan).