Archaeology, rapid climate changes in the Holocene, and adaptive strategies


  • Mihael Budja University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia



Holocene, archaeology, rapid climate changes, adaptation strategies, 8.2 ka climate event, Neolithisation, Little Ice Age


The article presents the concepts of repeating cycles of rapid climate variability in the Holocene, including rapid cooling cycles, cold events, ice-rafting events, and rapid climate change recorded in palaeoclimate archives. It also discusses the concepts of adaptation strategies embedded in the catastrophic scenarios of collapse on the one hand, and panarchy, resilience, and adaptation cycle on the other, i.e. the processes of transforming social hierarchical structures into dynamic, adaptive entities. In the rapid climate change series we focus on the 9.2 ka and 8.2 ka climate events associated with the Neolithisation process and the transition to farming. The 5.9 IRD event and/or period of rapid climate change from 6000–5200 cal yr BP are associated with the cultural, economic, and demographic collapse of the Early Neolithic Linear Pottery culture in central and western Europe. We also discuss the triad of recent weakening of North Atlantic ocean circulation, decreased solar activity, and the hypothesised transition to a cold period, the well-known historical scenario associated with the transition to Little Ice Age between 1450 and 1850.


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14. 11. 2023 — Updated on 28. 12. 2023




How to Cite

Budja, M. (2023). Archaeology, rapid climate changes in the Holocene, and adaptive strategies. Documenta Praehistorica, 50, 36-67.

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