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Center for

Environment & Society

Sustaining Civilization: Ancient Lessons in Resilience and Collapse

Date: 5:30pm EST February 10

A talk by Dr. John Seidel as part of CES’s 20th Anniversary Events

Nothing lasts forever, and civilizations rise and fall. Their collapse, whether in ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, or the world of the Maya, evokes both mystery and drama. But often overlooked is the amazing longevity and resilience of human communities, even in places that push the limits of technology and capacity. Join archaeologist John Seidel in exploring examples of both resilience and collapse across time and around the world, asking what lessons we can learn from the past and how they might be applied today, in a time of rapid change and shifting climate.


John Seidel (Ph. D) is the Director for the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College. He holds the Lammot du Pont Copeland Chair and is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies. His areas of interest include environmental archaeology, maritime archaeology, historic preservation, natural and cultural resource management, remote sensing, GIS & computer applications in resource management, benthic habitat and coastal zone assessment, and long-term climate change.