Storks, Humans, and Landscape on the Konya Plain, Turkey

Stork på rede

Join us for a public talk by Professor Nerissa Russell, Cornell University.

Multispecies approaches link humans and other taxa through their intersecting experiences. Storks have a long association with humans, living with them but not kept by them. This close association has led to extensive folklore about storks, and widespread taboos against killing them. In addition to using human structures as the platforms for their nests, storks have benefited from some human agricultural practices. Thus humans have, mostly inadvertently but sometimes deliberately, enhanced stork habitat and probably increased their population. This would have been especially true at the time of the origin and spread of agriculture. Here I focus on the shared experience of stork migration by humans and storks in the Konya Plain of Central Anatolia. Tell formation created new thermal air currents on the plain that aided migrating storks. Their use of these thermals created a striking display over the tell settlements that remains stirring to this day. These gigantic funnels of soaring storks may be the reason that storks, in particular, have often epitomized migration.

Nerissa Russell is a Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies, Cornell University.

The talk is organized by the UCPH School of Archaeology and Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies with support from Avifauna in archaeological networks, ERC