HUMN 3109 Catastrophe: The Environmental History of the Ancient World
Credit Points 10
Coordinator Gregory Barton Opens in new window
Description This unit examines past human interactions with the environment with its primary focus on the ancient Mediterranean and Near East between 2000 BC to 1600 AD. Case studies include Sumer, the lost civilisations of the Sahara, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Maya and later European colonial empires. Students will assess, evaluate and synthesize data drawn from environmental history to analyse how the limits of natural resources constrain civilisations. The unit asks how catastrophic collapse of civilisations informs the sustainability of our own societies. Key topics will be soil fertility, deforestation, desertification, and climate change from ancient times to the Anthropocene.
School Humanities & Comm Arts
Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp
Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.
Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject
Equivalent Subjects HUMN 3020 - Catastrophe The Environmental History of the Ancient and Modern World
Restrictions Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.
- Define the interaction between Nature and Civilisation in the past
- Explain the concept of resource constraint
- Evaluate competing paradigms of environmental explanations for the collapse of civilisations in the ancient world
- Define, with empirical examples, the key concepts: civilization�f, �enature�f, �eenvironmentalism�f, �eempire�f, �edesertification�f, �edesiccation theory�f, globalism
- Distinguish civilisations of the world in terms of their relationship with nature
The World Inheritance: Religion and Nature
The Sumerians: For the want of a tree a kingdom was lost?
Ancient Greece and Deforestation
Ancient Rome: Soil Fertility and the Rot in the Heart of the Empire
The Mayan Catastrophe: Deforestation and Starvation?
Central Asia: Desertification on the Silk Road
Columbian Exchanges and Encounters 1400-1600
Colonialism and the fear of Global Desert
Forests and Power: An Australian Fantasy
Air Pollution and Climate Change
The Globalization (and future collapse?) of Nature
The Natural Limits of Homo Sapiens
The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.
|Research Paper||3,000 words||50||N||Individual|
|Book Review||750 words||25||N||Individual|
|Field Trip Oral Report (10%)/Field Notes (15%)||5-10 minute presentation/ written notes 750 words||25||N||Individual|
2022 Semester 2
Parramatta - Victoria Rd
Subject Contact Gregory Barton Opens in new window