Stories of Ancient Resilience

Human responses to climate stress and catastrophic events like hurricanes, drought, and resource conflict have been oversimplified for years portrayed as either miraculous tales of survival or total collapse. This project abandonthat outdated mentality and looks to ancient civilizations to understand how resilience, in many forms, has influenced human choices, movement, and development. Teams are integrating quantitative information, such as DNA analysis, carbon dating, and LiDAR with the qualitative results of archaeological excavations, historical investigation, and storytelling to explore past mobility and resource management in times of stress. These discoveries will help Texans and our global community better understand the relationships among climate, migration, health, equity, and human and environmental wellbeing. The project will also provide insights about difficult challenges such as the trauma entire communities must confront when faced with mass relocation. Ultimately, this project seeks to offer a collection of new tools and ways of understanding, analyzing, and making decisions about local and global responses to the current climate crisis.

Team Members
Melissa Kemp
Department of Integrated Biology
Daniel Breecker
Geological Sciences
Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
Geography & the Environment
Timothy Beach
Geography and the Environment
Gabriella Sturchio
Art and Art History
Katie Dawson
Theater and Dance
J.E. Johnson
Texas Performing Arts
Jay Banner
Geological Sciences
Michael Holleran
Historic Preservation
Tom Garrison
Geography and the Environment
Vagheesh Narasimhan
Integrated Biology
Martha Menchaca
Anthropology
Dev Niyogi
Geological Sciences and Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
Arlene Rosen
Anthropology
Fred Valdez
Anthropology
Rabun Taylor
Classics
Jonathan Jarvis
Texas Archeological Research Laboratory
Astrid Runggaldier
The Mesoamerica Center
Tim Shanahan
Geological Sciences
David Stuart
The Mesoamerica Center