Surviving in dry environments: lessons from the past


About the research

As a result of climate change, more and more areas in the world are suffering from drought. Can we draw lessons from the Ancient past, where people learned to adapt to life in arid regions of the Near East and built entire communities there? Stefan L. Smith (Universiteit Gent) looks for clues in the Black Desert in Jordan.

Stefan L. Smith

An initial curiosity for ancient ruins sparked by family holidays in Greece led Stefan L. Smith to join archaeological excavations as a youth, and later continue with studies and fieldwork in Egypt, Syria, Oman, Iraq, and Jordan. Stefan’s current research at UGent is on the presence of ancient populations in dry regions of the Near East. These had to develop specific agricultural and pastoral strategies to survive. Such methods could help modern-day communities in drought-prone countries to better manage their resources.

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