Exploring the Past with New Technology:
Climate, Epidemics and the Fall of an Empire
Sarah Yeomans specializes in the Imperial period of the Roman Empire, with a particular emphasis on ancient science and religion. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Southern California. Her research involves ancient Roman medical technology as well as the impact of epidemics on Roman society.
At its height, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain to Egypt, from Spain to Iraq. The western Roman Empire lasted almost a thousand years. How such a mighty civilization fell – and why – has been a preoccupation of historians since at least the 18th century. But today, as new technology develops that can be applied to the field science of archaeology, we are able to understand more about the past than ever before. Innovations in environmental and biological sciences are giving us tools to add another significant piece to the puzzle that is the "fall of Rome." Rome's relationship with the environment, the dynamics of climate change, and the biological consequences of both are now understood to have heavily impacted the great empire, and contributed significantly to its ultimate demise. This presentation explores an integrated approach and the ways in which the science of the present helps us understand the events of the past, and how climate change, environmental exploitation and epidemic disease contributed to the collapse of one of the world's greatest civilizations.
5:45 p.m.● Lecture, Jim & Sandy Hall Auditorium, Room 135 Gates-Thomas Laboratory
Event is free for students/grad students/postdocs
Otherwise $5 per person RSVP