In this project a complex experimental framework consisting of climate and ecological models at different temporal and spatial resolution and proxy reconstructions has been developed. The main goal of the research was to reconstruct climatic and ecological conditions during the mid-to-late Holocene, from 7000 years ago to present days. The work covered different areas, from the global to the local scale, with a main focus on Europe.


Research led to some relevant results. From a modelling point of view, it allowed to gain information on the added value of high resolution climate models for the study of past climate changes. Additionally, results have allowed to get a better physical understanding of past climate and ecological changes that characterized Europe during the mid-to-late Holocene and to gain information on the possible reasons for disagreement between climate models and proxy reconstructions for the region and period of study. Finally, the results of the project have been used in collaboration with other researchers of the Excellence Cluster Topoi for the conduction of interdisciplinary climate-archaeological studies.

This dissertation project was written within the framework of the program “Landscape Archaeology and Architecture” (LAA) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) and was successfully completed in 2017.

Main outcomes and activities
  • The results of the project have contributed to a PhD dissertation with the title: ”Mid-to-late Holocene Climate and Ecological Changes over Europe”.
  • Results have been presented at different international conferences, including the American Geophysical Union 2015 conference in San Francisco (USA) and the XIX INQUA congress 2015 in Nagoya (Japan).
  • Different seminars have been held at the institute of Meteorology of the Freie Universität Berlin and within the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies during the time of the research.
  • The research included several cooperation projects, involving international partners such as the Joint Research Centre of the European commission, as well as other researchers of the Freie Universität Berlin.

Related publications

Emmanuele Russo, Mid-to-late Holocene Climate and Ecological Changes over Europe, Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin,

Bijan Fallah, Sahar Sodoudi, Emmanuele Russo, Ingo Kirchner, Ulrich Cubasch, “Towards modeling the regional rainfall changes over Iran due to the climate forcing of the past 6000 years” . Quaternary International, 2015, 1040-6182
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.061.

Emmanuele Russo and Ulrich Cubasch, “Mid-to-late Holocene temperature evolution and atmospheric dynamics over Europe in Regional Climate Simulations”, in: Climate of the Past, 12 (2016), 1645-1662
DOI: 10.5194/cp-12-1645-2016

Reinhard Bernbeck, Ulrich Cubasch, Anton Gass, Elke Kaiser, Hermann Parzinger, Susan Pollock, Joanne Rowland, Emmanuele Russo, Wolfram Schier and Geoffrey John Tassie, “Notes for a Political Ecology of Non-Sedentary People”, in: Space and Knowledge. Topoi Research Group Articles, eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 6 (2016), 45–73

Ana Grabundžija and Emmanuele Russo, “Tools tell tales – climate trends changing threads in the prehistoric Pannonian Plain”, in: Documenta Praehistorica, 43 (2017), 301–326
DOI: 10.4312\dp.43.15