A climate of fear: UCL Lunch Hour Lecture at the British Museum
By news editor, on 14 June 2011
Dr Joe Flatman, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, opened a series of lunchtime lectures by staff from UCL at the British Museum on 9 June with ‘A climate of fear: What the past tells us about human responses to climate change’ writes Jill Cook, Deputy Keeper, Palaeolithic and Mesolithic material, British Museum.
As a reflection on how human adaptability might help us achieve sustainable solutions to global warming, Joe selected 10 objects presented in the museum’s ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ series to demonstrate how peoples around the world and through time have responded to climatic change. Through these he showed the relevance of archaeology to the understanding of the modern challenges, a point well received and discussed in lively questions from the audience.
Watch Dr Flatman’s lecture at the British Museum (45 minutes)
The lecture topic was particularly apposite as it was the museum’s 18th century founder and benefactor Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) who, in collecting elephant remains excavated across Europe and in North America, suggested that climate must have changed over time because they could not all belong to the Roman period as commonly thought, but must date back to different environments before Noah’s Flood.
The lectures, which will be held on every Thursday in June, form part of a great deal of collaboration with the British Museum, which is pleased to offer a public forum with which to help both institutions develop new audiences for their research.