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Intensive Introductory Workshop in the Palaeosciences for Pre-Modernists

Princeton, NJ, United States
Contact person
John Haldon
E-Mail address


Date: 19-25 January 2024
Location: Seminars will convene in Scheide Caldwell House and in Guyot Hall.


Led by Ed Cook (Columbia), Warren Eastwood and Chris Bradley (Birmingham University/UK), John Haldon, and Lee Mordechai (Princeton).

A series of 16 x 3-hour sessions over 8 days with a final day for reflection and discussion.
This entry-level workshop will introduce participants from the fields of history and archaeology to the palaeoecological sciences and their relevance to historical and archaeological research.

Beginning with an overview of palaeoecology, how it works and how it can be used, the program will offer surveys of key ecological sciences, involving the study of stable isotopes and sedimentary geochemistry; speleothems, ice cores and tree-rings; palynology and dendroclimatology; C14 dating, multi-proxy data, and more. The focus will be on the reconstruction of pre-instrumental climate, vegetation, and land cover.

In particular, the program will explain how such proxies are interpreted, the conceptual basis for the reconstructions derived from them, and the assumptions, uncertainties, and statistical methods for data transformation that accompany their use. While we will focus on the Mediterranean Basin as a case study, examples will also be drawn on from other world regions, including temperate Europe and North America.

• An intensive 9-day workshop

• Entry-level: no previous knowledge of the subject required

• Geared towards younger scholars (junior faculty members and graduate students, although undergraduates may also be admitted)

• For scholars in the humanities and social sciences

Seminars will convene in Scheide Caldwell House and in Guyot Hall. There will be some preparatory reading - a very short bibliography will be issued nearer the time!

Targeted Audience

The workshop is open in the first instance to Princeton graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty, with a limited number of places for non-Princeton researchers. Undergraduates may be admitted depending on availability of places. Coffee and lunches will be provided.

Application Process and Deadlines

Limited places are available. Those interested should submit a statement of interest (<200 words), including their current position/program, to John Haldon ( by 15 November 2023, with the subject line “Application for Palaeoscience Workshop.” Successful applicants will be notified by 1 December 2023. Workshop attendance is free and lunch provided, but non-Princeton attendees must cover their own travel and accommodation costs (although CCHRI can arrange accommodation if requested).

Further Information

If you have any questions, please contact John Haldon at