Explosive eruptions and the Mediterranean civilizations through prehistory and history

An international workshop on the present state of knowledge on explosive eruptions in the Mediterranean area, and their impact on the environment and human civilization.

Ustica (Palermo, Italy), the Mediterranean «open-air volcanological museum», 12-16 September 2017

Since the origin of humanity volcanism and human life have been strictly linked to each other. Despite the hazards posed by volcanoes, humans have always found good reasons for settlement and development around them, mostly in temperate zones,  because of high soil fertility or for the presence of ore deposits and the abundance of volcanic rocks that are good building materials. Evidence from archaeological excavations demonstrates that volcanic and related phenomena often have strongly conditioned human life, causing environmental changes, forcing people to abandon their settlements, and preparing the conditions for later re-colonization and soil exploitation during phases of quiescence. The Mediterranean region is one of the most impressive examples of this interaction, where the development of civilization has been repeatedly boosted and hindered. More recently, as demonstrated by the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption (Iceland), the impact of even moderate-scale eruptions is amplified by the increasing vulnerability of modern society related to growing population, rising standard of living, settlement and industrialization of very exposed regions, and complex interdependencies in commerce, including transport and trade systems at a global scale.

The main goal of this workshop is to promote cultural exchange and interaction among diverse disciplines, so as to enhance our knowledge of the relationships between volcanism, environment and human communities, and exhibit and spreading the best practice of scientific culture dissemination about explosive volcanism.

Multidisciplinary contributions are solicited, mainly in the fields of stratigraphy, eruption dynamics and modelling, petrology, archaeological investigations, archaeometry, environmental impact of volcanic eruptions, relationships between distribution and emplacement of volcanic products and human settlements and structures, archaeological evidence for environmental changes and impact of volcanic activity on humans and animals, volcanic hazard assessment and risk reduction. Contributions on scientific museology and examples of effective dissemination techniques are welcome.

 


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