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Workshop: Climate Change and the Fall of the Roman Empire

April 24-5, 2009

The goal of this workshop was to produce for publication a white paper, which summarizes what is known and what is not known today, and what can be known tomorrow, about climate change conditions in the main regions of the Roman empire in its late phase, and what can be ascertained today or discovered tomorrow about the impact of climate change on human society and society's responses. For historians and archaeologists this promises new data to add to the growing wealth of information on the environmental matrix, the changing ecological conditions of the Roman empire and its responses. For climate scientists it offers the opportunity to verify that the postulated mechanisms though to be documented by proxy indicators actually functioned and had the anticipated impact; it offers a kind of super-proxy evidence, eye-witness testimony on particular climate conditions in the distant human past.

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