Interdisciplinary Approaches to Byzantine Environmental History: Pine Growth as Indicator of Social Crisis
Crisis situations experienced by human societies always have an environmental dimension. Studying past landscapes through palynology is one of the ways to understand this complex relationship. This lecture studies pollen profiles from the Eastern Mediterranean in the period from AD 300 to 1500, in order to understand the phenomenon of the “pine signal”, i.e. the synchronous regional increase in the proportion of pine pollen.
By investigating the temporal and spatial distribution of the pine signal, it can be shown that a disturbance of the existing agroecosystem and secondary ecological succession co-occurred with major socio-economic and political transitions in Byzantine history.