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Lapadis phase 2

LAPADIS phase 2: Apocalypse then?

The Laacher See volcanic eruption (13,000 years before present), Deep Environmental History and Europe’s geo-cultural heritage


This project is funded by the Independent Research Council Denmark’s Sapere Aude Starting Grant instrument and represents phase two of LAPADIS – the Laboratory for Past Disaster Science. In the project, we (I) conduct ground-breaking research centred on a cataclysmic environmental event that punctuated an early period on Nordic prehistory – the Laacher See volcanic eruption that occurred c. 13.000 years ago in present-day Germany, and its impact on communities in Europe and especially in southern Scandinavia – and on this basis to (II) develop novel outreach engagements that make Europe’s geo-cultural heritage work for environmental literacy. By exploring in parallel and unprecedented detail the cultural and geological dynamics of the Laacher See eruption and its suggested consequences, this project will lead to 1) a significantly improved understanding of this last major continental European eruption, and 2) allow us to test the dual hypothesis of its regionally varying human impact in Central Europe and southern Scandinavia respectively. This project will 3) provide a robust historically informed evidence-base for an engagement of deep-time Environmental Humanities with the profound ethical predicaments of present and future climate change and climate catastrophe.

This project contributes to theme 4  

Felix Riede

Professor MSO, forskningsprogramleder Institut for Kultur og Samfund - Afdeling for Arkæologi og Kulturarvsstudier