AXIS 1 - From environments to territories: cultures of the sea and anthropisation of the environment

Axis 1 of the ARKAIA Institute of Mediterranean Archaeology analyses the response of societies to environmental changes in Mediterranean areas. It is based in particular on the recognised skills of Aix-Marseille University in coastal, port and underwater archaeology, bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology, paleoenvironment and palaeoclimatology.

The Institute's teams have individually demonstrated the scope of their fields of expertise on environmental issues in the Mediterranean, particularly in maritime, coastal and port environments, on water management in habitats and inhabited and exploited territories, and on the biological environment of human societies. The Institute offers the opportunity to build joint programmes to analyse and reconstruct the interactions between man and his natural environment, to understand its evolution, practices and lifestyles around paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental, geo and bioarchaeological themes. Three directions are favoured:

  • The cultures of the sea: fluvio-deltaic environments, coastal human settlements and ports

This part of Axis 1 is intended to support reflection and projects relating in particular to coastal environments, the exploitation, transformation, conservation, recycling and exchange of the resources of the sea, and the exploration of underwater and coastal archaeological deposits.

  • Hydroarchaeology and water resource management of ancient and medieval societies

Thanks to the HYDRΩMED network, set up with the financial support of the A*Midex foundation, and in partnership with European and Mediterranean universities, in particular with the Topoi cluster of excellence of the Frei Universität of Berlin, AMU occupies an important place in the international reflection on the possible creation of a new, highly interdisciplinary discipline, archaeohydrology. The intersection of the humanities, environmental sciences, architecture and hydraulic engineering favours the study of water management in ancient cultures and the promotion of programmes for the restoration and cultural enhancement of a hydraulic heritage that is also useful for the sustainable development of Mediterranean areas affected by the scarcity of the resource.

  • Human-Environment Relations in the Mediterranean Basin

The Institute confronts ecosystems and socio-economic organizations by focusing research on bioarchaeological materials, such as flora and fauna resources, which are bioclimatic indicators and essential information supports for identifying subsistence and land use strategies. Its objective is to mobilize forces and means for cross-approaches: geological, biological data and bioclimatic indicators, paleontology/archaeozoology. The consequences of environmental changes on the health of human populations will also be addressed over the long term.

Contact information

Institute of Mediterranean Archaeology ARKAIA
Mediterranean House of Human Sciences
5 rue du Château de l'Horloge, BP 647
13094 Aix-en-Provence / +33 4 42 52 41 10

logo de l'institut

landscape, anthropisation
coastal and harbour archaeology
paleo-environment, paleoclimate
water management, hydroarchaeology
bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology
Mediterranean Rim