Ice Age Research and Ornithology

With the objective to connect the history of the research on animate and inanimate nature in Eastern Europe with the region’s cultural history, this history of science-oriented research focuses particularly on transnational entanglements in glacial geology and ornithology,

Member organisations of the European Union for Bird Ringing © EURING

Entangled History of the Natural Sciences as Illustrated by Glacial Geology and OrnithologyAfter the end of the last glacial period, during which large parts of eastern Europe lay under an ice sheet until about 10–12,000 years ago, primordial and early humans settled across the region in a »primordial and early environment.« The subsequent cultural developments became the object of prehistoric and early historical research, which developed separately from the natural history research into environments shaped by the Ice Age. While cultural history especially in the 19th century became deeply nationalised, natural history remained a highly international discipline. Even in the times of the political conflict between the West and the East, glacial geology seemed to follow the motto »no Cold War in Ice Age research.«

The same can be said about the history of ornithology, since (also influenced by the ice ages) the migratory patterns of most bird species make it imperative for this discipline to find forms of functioning international academic cooperation. Within the framework of an interdisciplinary, there is now the chance to join environmental history, natural history, and cultural history as components of an integrated history of science. This research aims to integrate Eastern Europe into these environmental humanities.

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