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VITA ANTIQUA, 12 (2020)                                                      ISSN 2522-9419 (online), ISSN 2519-4542 (print)
Center for Paleoethnological Research

VITA ANTIQUA 12, 2020, Climate Impact on East European Neolithic Societies.
Materials of the session ‘The Climate Impact on European Neolithic Societies During the 8.2-ky BP Events Near River Basins and Lakes’. #Networking, 26th Virtual Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (August 24-30, 2020)
Some remarks on climate impact on prehistoric societies, 15-22

Sławomir Kadrow
Institute of Archaeology, Rzeszуw University
ORCID: 0000-0002-7169-1027


In some archaeological studies there is a tendency emphasize climate with special strength as a driving force of cultural change in studies covering larger areas over longer periods of time. Migrations are often linked to climate change. In contrast, in small-region studies, researchers are more likely to explore internal factors of change, such as inequality and conflict. On the other hand, in publications postulating the impact of climate on changes in prehistoric societies, it is quite easy to notice the dependence of their authors on a specific theoretical option. For this reason, this article provides an overview of them (classical evolutionism, anthropo-geography, culture-historical school, some processualists). For the same reason, selected examples of positive references to climate as a driving force for change and examples where researchers point to other causes are included here. The conclusion stated that even the best documented influence of climatic factors did not affect people directly. As a component of the natural environment that remains outside human culture, climate cannot influence migration or culture change directly. It is part of so called border conditions of cultural and civilizational phenomena, and it may be a necessary condition of cultural change, but never its sufficient condition. Reconstruction of necessary and sufficient conditions requires knowledge of images of the world prevalent in a given society, which involve moral and practical suggestions about how to solve organizational and legal problems in an essential framework of world – view and religion.

Keywords: climate, migrations, culture change, theoretical options, social conflict.

Language: English


Cite as:

Kadrow S. 2020. Some remarks on climate impact on prehistoric societies. VITA ANTIQUA 12. Climate Impact on East European Neolithic Societies, p. 15-22.


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