The overriding aim of GEOLAKE is to disentangle the effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities on the environment and to highlight the long-term adaptation of populations in the Upper Jordan Valley (Israel) using sedimentary, palaeoecological and geochemical proxies from the lake Hula as unique case-study example. The lacustrine archives of the Hula will facilitate a high-resolution reconstruction of human-environment dynamics since the emergence of the region’s first complex societies in the Early Neolithic. In this part of the Levant, the Holocene
is a key period during which environmental changes and human pressures profoundly transformed local ecosystems providing new key knowledge to constrain the concept of the Anthropocene in the region. The comparison of palaeoenvironmental data generated within the framework of our project with archaeological and historical evidence will allow us to develop an innovative “local human occupation index” to understand the evolution of the human pressures in the Hula catchment and to propose models looking to: (1) understand how ancient societies perceived and reacted in the face of environmental and climatic changes; (2) understand how they lastingly modified their environment; (3) estimate how their methods of environmental management were influenced by external variations.