The Hallstatt High Valley represents one of Europe's oldest cultural and industrial landscapes. For millennia this remote alpine valley was the demographic and economic centre of a wide region. In this landscape the evidence for large-scale underground salt mining runs from the present day back to the Bronze Age. The oldest secure evidence for such mining dates to the 14th century BC. However, various indicators point towards a much older tradition of salt production, reaching far into Neolithic times. The extraordinary preservation conditions in the salt mines and the variety of archaeological, historical and environmental sources allow for unique insights into prehistoric technology, raw material management, working processes and human-environment relations. The Hallstatt/Dachstein region represents an alpine environment, where the evolution of human-environment relations can be tracked over a long time period. Recent research has focused on the impact of natural extreme events on these highly sophisticated socio-economic systems. Through this research it was possible to document the high degree of resilience of Bronze Age and Iron Age communities in the face of devastating extreme natural events such as mass movements and substantial climate change. In this article we will address the questions of 'understanding past adaptation strategies and facing future challenges' and 'the role of archaeologists in addressing climate change', based on our longstanding research and outreach activities in the Hallstatt region.