Collins Conference Room
Working Group

This event is by invitation only.

Meeting Summary:  How do societies assess risk, and how do they prepare for it and react to it? Do timescales of variability affect the nature and quality of risk management decisions? How do norms in managing risk develop, and how has the evolution of these norms changed over time and in different locations? How can archaeological data help inform us on sustainable resource strategies? In this research team seminar we propose to bring together a group of scientists from traditionally separate disciplines--archaeology, anthropology, ecology, geosciences, and social systems--to examine how humans have developed risk management strategies from deep time until today, with a particular focus on how infrastructure management in both archaeological and modern systems develops to account for variations in weather and climate. We examine the development of norms related to risk reduction, such as the development of storage techniques for multiple years of grain among the Ancestral Pueblo, using archaeological case studies as systems to calibrate our understanding of modern risk mitigation problems in the face of exposure to highly interdependent economic, engineered, and natural systems. The goal of this working group is to develop theoretical models to study social transitions in the past and methodologies that can unite studies of sustainability in archaeological and modern cases.

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Seth Blumsack and Stefani Crabtree

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