World Archaeology Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience

Volume 50, Issue 4

World Archaeology

Within archaeology, risk, vulnerability and resilience have received periodic attention from sometimes contrasting theoretical positions. All three terms have acquired new resonance in the face of escalating climate change. In evolutionary perspectives, the development of physical and social storage mechanisms as risk-buffering strategies are often considered to have been key components of the transition to food production. Various models of hunter-gatherer behaviour have likewise long regarded human action as optimizing trade-offs in terms of balancing degrees of risk against potential payoffs. Recent focus on the significance of care-giving as a means of reducing and responding to health-risks has added a new dimension to these arguments. The vulnerability and resilience of communities in the past to environmental disasters, such as droughts and volcanic eruptions, and how they insured against these risks have also become a focus of archaeological research. Archaeologists have also begun to consider how variations in food availability, access, utilization, and production stability influence degrees of household and community level vulnerability in terms of food security, entitlement, socio-ecological resilience, and social equity.

To encourage critical reflection on the ways in which risk, resilience and vulnerability have been used in archaeology, and are currently being deployed, we invite contributions to this issue irrespective of material, region, or time period on topics that might include, but are not restricted to: Human evolution; experimentation and innovation; food security and livelihoods; entitlement; individual and/or collective agency; climate change; archaeological site management; archaeological praxis; natural hazards; long-distance exploration; technological change; liability; religious practice and belief.

Submission Deadline

Submit your paper online via the journal's ScholarOne™ website: by 1st January 2018.

Editorial information