CRANE Research Questions


CRANE researchers come from multiple disciplines and have many interests. They will be examining a range of specific but interrelated research questions.


• How did community growth and migration from other areas impact micro- and macro-demographic trends and settlement changes?

• What were the environmental effects of ancient agricultural and pastoral subsistence practices, and their impact on the long-term

sustainability of these practices?

• What role did wild resources play in human subsistence, both in urban and non-urban settings, in contrast to domesticated crops and herded


• What long-term impact did highland settlement and exploitation (e.g., deforestation, slope terracing) have on slope erosion and in-filling of valley


• What was the long-term impact of anthropogenic (human-made) landscape features, such as irrigation canals and roads, on both the natural

environment and on people who used the land?

• How did craft industries develop over time, what were their social and economic impacts, and how did they affect long-term social and cultural


• What was the social and political impact of climatic change?


To examine these questions, CRANE researchers will be using the archaeological data from different locations in the Orontes Watershed that have been entered into the OCHRE software platform.


Research will create simulations and models to turn ideas and hypotheses into realistic visualizations of ancient human activity and its impact on the natural environment.