This handbook examines human responses to climatic and environmental changes in the past,and  their impacts on disease patterns, nutritional status, migration, and interpersonal violence. Bioarchaeology—the study of archaeological human skeletons—provides direct evidence of the human experience of past climate and environmental changes and serves as an important complement to paleoclimate, historical, and archaeological approaches to changes we may expect with global warming.

Comprising 27 chapters from experts across a broad range of time periods and geographical regions, this book addresses hypotheses about how climate and environmental changes impact human health and well-being, factors that promote resilience, and circumstances that make migration or interpersonal violence a more likely outcome. The volume highlights the potential relevance of bioarchaeological analysis to contemporary challenges by organizing the chapters into a framework outlined by the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Planning for a warmer world requires knowledge about humans as biological organisms with a deep connection to Earth's ecosystems balanced by an appreciation of how historical and socio-cultural circumstances, socioeconomic inequality, degrees of urbanization, community mobility, and social institutions play a role in shaping long-term outcomes for human communities. 

Containing a wealth of nuanced perspectives about human-environmental relations, book is key reading for students of environmental archaeology, bioarchaeology, and the history of disease. By providing a longer view of contemporary challenges, it may also interest readers in public health, public policy, and planning.

part I|140 pages

Good health and well-being

chapter 2|24 pages

Exploring the third “epidemiological transition”

Paleopathology’s contribution to understanding health and well-being today and for the future

chapter 4|23 pages

Living on the edge

Climate-induced micronutrient famines in the ancient Atacama Desert?

chapter 7|19 pages

Respiratory disease in the Middle Nile Valley

The impact of environment and aridification

chapter 8|16 pages

Health and disease at the marshes

Deciphering human–environmental interactions at Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st–3rd century AD)

part II|120 pages

Socioeconomic and gender equality, no poverty or hunger

chapter 10|16 pages

Urban environments

Demography, epidemiology, and the role of climate change in determining health outcomes

chapter 11|16 pages

Social variation in an urban environment and its impacts on stress

Preliminary results from Ancient Greek Himera (Sicily)

chapter 13|18 pages

Resilience and change

A biocultural view of a Bedouin population in the emerging modern Middle East

chapter 14|22 pages

A bioarchaeology of madness

Modernity, pellagra, and the rise of the manicomio system in the Veneto Region of Italy

part III|100 pages

Peace, justice, and strong institutions

chapter 16|15 pages

The climate change–witch execution connection

Living with environmental uncertainties on the Colorado Plateau (AD 800–1350)

chapter 18|13 pages

Environmental, behavioral, and bodily change

Violence in the Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000–1450), North Chile

part IV|134 pages

Life on land

chapter 21|17 pages

Slouching toward the Neolithic

Complexity, simplification, and resilience in the Japanese archipelago

chapter 24|22 pages

Aridity and adaptation among Arabian Bronze Age communities

Investigating mobility and climate change using isotope analysis

chapter 27|18 pages

Human–animal entanglements and environmental change

Multi-species approaches in Remote Oceania