EXPLO goes underwater to explore the birth of agriculture


In Switzerland, an international team of researchers led by the University of Bern created EXPLO (Exploring the dynamics and causes of prehistoric land use change in the cradle of European farming) to explore the lakes in the north of Greece and in the south of the Balkans as a unique archive of European cultural and environmental history.

The project’s aim is to try to understand the adjustment strategies used by early farming communities to react to changing climate and environmental conditions. EXPLO will combine underwater archeology with methods used by ecologists, biologists and climate scientists and employ dynamic computer models in order to reconstruct the interaction between the climate and humans.

“The excavation sites which have virtually not been studied at all until now are of outstanding scientific value”, explains Albert Hafner. “They could prove to be just as important as Neolithic and Bronze Age lakeshore settlements around the Alps.”