A Greek Countryside: The Southern Argolid from Prehistory to the Present Day

This volume presents the results of the Argolid Exploration Project, an archaeological, historical and geological survey of a part of the Peloponnese of Greece. It is a study in human ecology that analyzes the dynamic relationship between human communities and their environments, both cultural and natural. Before 8,000 years ago, particularly during the last Ice Age, the most important determinant of landscape evolution was climate change. However, in the last 8,000 years, human settlement and land use have had drastic effects upon the land, resulting in deforestation and erosion. For this period a cyclical pattern of settlement growth and decline that correlates with successive episodes of catastrophic damage to the soils and environment is revealed. A shorter study of the Project intended for the general reader has already been published (Beyond the Acropolis by van Andel and Runnels, Stanford, 1987), and at least two other volumes will continue to set out the findings.

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