Wider Impact

The importance of this proposal in the framework of the environmental humanities, an emergent field of cross-disciplinary research, needs to be underlined. Environmental humanities explore the complex interrelationships between all types of human activity and the environment but a proper understanding of the reciprocal relationship between nature and culture can only be done through a collaborative enterprise between sciences, social sciences and humanities. All disciplines can learn from each other: scientists will see how human culture impacts the environment and the humanities should realise the impact environmental issues have on culture. Significant environmental issues such as the impact of volcanic eruptions are ideal topics to connect interdisciplinary scholarship and to incorporate natural disasters into archaeological thinking about social change. Such a study also has societal relevance. Drawing on the results of our interdisciplinary approach, we intend to impact on modern knowledge and management of environmental hazards in general and volcanic ones in particular to influence positively modern-day policy makers and general stakeholders. We seriously think that our project can be instructive for other research projects dealing with other hazard types (hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.) in providing not only an interdisciplinary methodology but also a society-based framework for the appreciation of natural hazards. Our ultimate intention is to develop and cultivate an appropriate terminology of how to understand past and present reactions against disaster risks and the gamut of social changes that can unfold following such events.