Climate Change in Urban Biographies: Stage, Event, Agent
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Urban Archaeology. 2020, 2, 187-196. https://doi.org/10.1484/J.JUA.5.121536
How do archaeologists understand the relationship between climate, climate change, and urban biographies? In this article, I argue that urban biographies should be approached as the life stories they claim to be, with events propelling the narrative between phases or periods in the history of a city. In order to integrate the wealth of palaeoclimatological data now available into such narratives, scholars need to be conscious about how the relationship between climate and urban change is modelled. Taking a bibliometric survey of urban archaeology as the point of departure, different narrative templates for using climate to explain urban trajectories are identified and briefly exemplified on the basis of scholarship on the Early/Middle Bronze Age transition in the Near East and the Maya Classical/post-Classical transition.