Arid Environments

Peter Magee (peter.magee@PGRAD.ARTS.SU.EDU.AU)
Fri, 9 Feb 1996 16:39:02 U

To all interested,
I am presently putting together a proposal in application to the Visiting
Scholar Program at Carbondale (SIU). The main task of the Visiting Scholar is
to organise a conference around a particular anthropological/archaeological
theme. The proposed theme of my application is "The Archaeology of Human
Settlement in (Hyper-)Arid Environments". I will not detail the conference
here suffice to say that the conference will deal with the manner in which
humans exploit and manipulate arid and hyper-arid environments. A general
thrust of the conference is to look at arid regions as optimal zones for
certain human activities rather than marginal and resource-poor regions. The
proposal also examines the manner in which archaeologists and anthropologists
whose background is in more temperate and fertile regions have approached
understanding human settlement in zones which they consider "hostile". The
underlying theme for all of this will be a critique of an ecosystemic/adaptive
approach in understanding cultural change in the past. For me, most of the
issues derive from my work in Southeastern Arabia where I have been working
for the last four years and where I am presently excavating a settlement
located in the most arid sub-region of the United Arab Emirates.

If anyone feels their research area is relevant and would be interested in
being listed as a potential participant please contact me directly. I would
emphasise that it is only an application at this stage. So far, I have
expressions of interest from people throughout the States, Europe and
Australia whose research areas spread from Africa, the Middle East, India and
the American Southwest. The conference would be scheduled for April/May 1997
at Carbondale. If anyone is interested I could forward to them a more detailed
proposal for the conference.

Thanks, peter magee
Dr. Peter Magee
School of Archaeology A14
University of Sydney 2006
New South Wales
Fax: + 61 2 351 4889