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Recent Publications: Elson and “Archaeological Volcanologists” Publish Review Article

Dr. Mark Elson, a long-time Visiting Scholar with the SoA, is a co-author on a paper published in the September 2020 issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research (Volume 401, September 2020, 106977. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2020.106977). The paper is written by six archaeologists who work with volcano eruptions (“archaeological volcanologists”) and are researching how humans deal with disaster. It was requested by the volume editors, who tasked the group with educating volcanologists as to how cross-discipline research can benefit their research and at the same time provide insight into human adaptation to disasters—a hot topic in today’s world. “Prospects and Pitfalls in Integrating Volcanology and Archaeology: A Review” is by Felix Riede, Gina L. Barnes, Mark D. Elson, Gerald A. Oetaar, Karen G. Holmberg, Payson Sheets.


Abstract: Volcanic eruptions and interactions with the landforms and products these yield, are a constant feature of human life in many parts of the world. Seen over long timespans, human–volcano interactions become stratified in sedimentary archives containing eruptive products and archaeological remains. This review is concerned with charting the overlapping territory of volcanology and archaeology and attempts to plot productive routes for further conjoined research. We define archaeological volcanology as a field of study that brings together incentives, insights, and methods from both volcanology and from archaeology in an effort to better understand both past volcanism as well as past cultural change, and to improve risk management practices as well as the contemporary engagement with volcanism and its products. There is an increasing appreciation that understanding these human impacts and manifold human-volcano interactions requires robust multi-, inter-, or even trans-disciplinary collaboration. Our review is written in the hope of providing a clearinghouse resource that (i) maps the many forms of past human-volcano interactions, (ii) provides study design templates for how to integrate archaeological perspectives into investigations of past volcanism, and (iii) makes suggestions for how the insights gained from such an archaeological volcanology can be integrated into reducing contemporary and future vulnerability amongst at-risk communities. (Anthro News Digest date: 9/25/2020)