'Climate Crises in Human History' Set for Saturday, Nov. 19, at Penn Museum

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Media Contact:Pam Kosty | pkosty@upenn.edu | 215-898-4045October 25, 2011

As scientists and other scholars study rapid climate changes and climate crises affecting different parts of the world today, relatively little discussion is being focused on climate crises faced by humans in the past. The ancient Maya, the Saharan ancestors of the ancient Egyptians, ancient Romans and medieval Europeans are among many cultures who have faced dramatic climate change, adapting or not adapting to changing conditions throughout the millennia. Can we learn from their strategies—exploring what proved successful, and what did not—as we face our own climate crisis in the 21st century?

"Climate Crises in Human History"—an afternoon program at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia Saturday, November 19, 3:00 to 5:00 pm—looks at select case studies of past climate change, documented in the archaeological and geological record, to consider that question. The program follows an international conference held at the Penn Museum in 2008, which culminated in a new book, Climate Crises in Human History, edited by A. Bruce Mainwaring, Robert Giegengack and Claudio Vita-Finzi, and published in association with the Transactions series of the American Philosophical Society.

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