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ex oriente

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ex oriente
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ex oriente e.V. is a scientific society founded in 1994 by researchers of the Institutes of Near Eastern Archaeology and Ancient Oriental Studies at the Free University of Berlin. We are an independent organization encouraging interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation on the study of environmental history, ancient technologies, and the means of production and subsistence in the Near and Middle East.
In contrast to traditional research interests of the discipline in Germany, we focus on the lifeway of the people in early societies. The natural environment of the Near East provided conditions that allowed for substantial advances in human cultural development, including:
  • sedentarization
  • domestication of plants and animals
  • irrigation and pastoralism
  • urbanization
  • emergence of states.
This trajectory was characterized by a continuing emergence of new technologies and subsistence economies. This often involved the adoption of adaptive strategies to compensate for excessive exploitation of natural resources that changed or destroyed environmental conditions. The early examples of enduring human impacts on their surroundings have clear modern analogies in terms of environmental and developmental politics. Thus, the aim of ex oriente is also to make a clear connection between prehistoric and early historical times with present-day environmental and social developments. Research on prehistoric territorial behavior and environmental destruction, conditions under which stratified societies and early patterns of conflict arose, can offer insights into modern developmental problems.


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