Anthropocene (Other Keyword)

1-21 (21 Records)

The Anthropocene Divide: Obscuring our Understanding of Socio-Environmental History (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Bauer. Erle Ellis.

Much scientific debate has focused on the timing and stratigraphic signatures for the Anthropocene. In this paper, we argue that strident debate about the Anthropocene’s chronological boundaries arises because its formal periodization necessarily forces an arbitrary break in a long history of human alteration of environments. The aim of dividing geologic time based on a "step-change" in the global significance of socio-environmental processes goes directly against the socially differentiated and...


The Anthropocene of Madagascar: Reviewing Chronological Evidence for Madagascar’s Colonization (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Kristina Douglass. Henry Wright. Robert Dewar.

The date of Madagascar’s initial settlement has long been the subject of academic inquiry and debate. Archaeologists, historians, geneticists, linguists and paleoecologists interested in the history of Malagasy and Indian Ocean peoples, regional exchange, and environmental change have contributed diverse datasets and perspectives to this debate over Madagascar’s colonization, but consensus on the timing of human arrival remains elusive. Despite its relative proximity to the African mainland,...


Anthropogenic land cover change over the last 6000 years: How can we use archaeology to inform global models? (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jed Kaplan. Andrea Kay. Leanne Phelps.

Did humans affect global climate before the Industrial Era? While this question is hotly debated, the co-evolution of humans and the natural environment since the last Ice Age had an undisputed role in influencing the development and present state of terrestrial ecosystems, many of which are highly valued today as economic, cultural, and ecological resources. Yet we still have a very incomplete picture of human-environment interactions over the last 21,000 years, both spatially and temporally....


Archaeological Considerations in the Study of the Anthropocene (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only James Gibb.

The Anthropocene epoch, garnering the interest of geologists and environmental scientists for the past decade, has now entered the archaeological lexicon. As in other disciplines, questions remain about what Anthropocene means and when it began, as well as how it differs from the Holocene. This presentation explores some of these issues and offers a ground-up approach by which conventional approaches in archaeology might be adapted to a reassessment of the human experience and the role of...


Archaeology in the Age of the Anthropocene: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only David Wright.

The 2016 decision by the Working Group on the Anthropocene of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) to designate an Epoch based on a Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) fixed at AD1950 is significant for managing global ecological systems moving forward. There is no serious scientific debate on whether humans have impacted the global ecology, but regardless of the ICS decision to anchor the so-called "Golden Spike" to the advent of the nuclear age, humans are known...


The Archaeology of Anthropocene Rivers: Historic Mining and Landscape Change in Australia (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Susan Lawrence. Peter Davies. Ewen Silvester. Darren Baldwin. Ian Rutherfurd.

The impact of gold mining on rivers in the Australian colony of Victoria during the nineteenth century provides a case study of the acceleration of human intervention in world systems characteristic of the Anthropocene. As miners used water to extract gold from the soil they also re-shaped river systems, turning rivers into artefacts that were modified and manipulated as tools in order to achieve cultural goals. The cumulative and widespread effect of mining activity is made evident through the...


Archaeology, Museums, and the Anthropocene (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Torben Rick.

While debate continues about when the Anthropocene began, many researchers have shifted focus away from questions about the onset of the Anthropocene to questions of why, how, and what next? Museums are poised to play an important role in societal and scientific conversations about the pressing issues of the Anthropocene and how best to move forward in the age of humans. Building on a variety of ongoing efforts, I discuss the role of museum based archaeological research, collections, and...


The Central Plains Archaeological Survey: A Preliminary Report (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Storozum. Tristram Kidder. Zhen Qin. Haiwang Liu.

Over the past five years, the authors have conducted a geoarchaeological survey in Northern Henan Province, China, to test three hypotheses of regional and global significance. First, many Chinese archaeologists consider this area void of archaeological remains. Based on our data, most archaeological material is far below the surface - approximately 5 to 8 meters. Second, the location of the Yellow River during the Bronze Age year is argued to flow to the south, entering the ocean near Shanghai....


Deep Time Versus Archaeological Time: Disentangling Stratigraphy, Periodization, and Historical Narrative (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Knisley.

The earth sciences have periodically contributed to shifts in archaeologists’ theoretical and methodological approaches to space and time ("deep" time and sociocultural evolution, stratigraphic laws and contextual interpretation). The Anthropocene seems to herald another such shift, but the category/concept remains controversial given its bridging, by design, of science and politics. This paper argues that archaeologists can clarify our discipline’s engagement with these debates by comparing...


Defining the Anthropocene on California's Northern Channel Islands (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jon Erlandson. Todd Braje. Kristina Gill. Torben Rick.

California's Northern Channel Islands provide some of the most detailed and well-preserved records of human occupation of dynamic island landscapes in the world. Here, archaeological and historical ecological research over the past 20 years has produced a variety of data about human eco-dynamics in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems, spanning nearly 13,000 years. We summarize current knowledge of cultural and ecological changes from Paleoindian to historic times, focusing on what...


Evolutionary Archaeology and the Anthropocene (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jose Lanata. Claudia Briones. Adrian Monjeau. Andrés Vaccari. Florencia Bechis.

Recently, the Anthropocene has challenged us to reflect on the era we live in and about the very terms in which we can frame its definition. As a geological era, the Anthropocene seems to be the field of geologists, paleontologists and biologists. However, now that the impact of Homo sapiens on the planet became focus of preoccupation, an excellent opportunity has arisen to rethink the relationship H. sapiens - nature from the viewpoint of other disciplines. As controversy, the Anthropocene can...


Is the Anthropocene a Beastly Problem? Thoughts on Human-Animal Relationships and Contemporary Narratives of Change (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Hannah Chazin.

Pizzly bears and coywolves have been making headlines over the past few years. Offspring of illicit pairings between species of charismatic and aggressive megafauna, these hybrid monsters are presented as signs and portents of a troubled future. This paper explores the relationship between contemporary discourses about unruly and uncanny hybrid species and academic efforts to define and engage with the Anthropocene. It questions the relationships between tacit understandings of the animal as a...


Island colonization and ecological transformation in prehistoric eastern Africa (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicole Boivin. Mary Prendergast. Jillian Swift. Ceri Shipton. Alison Crowther.

Until recently, the small islands lying off the coasts of Tanzania and Kenya have seen little systematic archaeological investigation. Their biogeographic diversity, reflecting various processes and chronologies of formation, nonetheless offers an ideal opportunity to examine processes of prehistoric colonization and anthropogenic impact.We explore the earliest evidence for human activity on three different islands, Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia, and provide the first evidence for early human...


A Meaningful Anthropocene?: Golden Spikes, Transitions, and Boundary Objects (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Todd Braje. Matthew Lauer.

Despite opposition by a number of anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and other historical and social scientists, a proposal to designate a geologic epoch of humans, the Anthropocene, is moving forward with a proposed starting date sometime in the last 50 years. The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) and other, mostly, geological scientists have focused on the stratigraphic signatures for the boundary marker in lieu of understanding the long-term processes that have resulted in human...


On some classical roots of the Anthropocene: where does Mediterranean archaeology belong? (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Catherine Kearns.

In the long run-up to deciding the Anthropocene’s scientific status there have been few archaeological voices, as many have noted, revealing the proposed epoch’s narrow periodization of human-environment relationships. None seem to be more absent than classical archaeologists, an omission which reflects not only disciplinary cleavages but also tacit conceits about the classical world as paradoxically generative of and divorced from modern geopolitics and human-nature interfaces. From the early...


Persistence of the Anthropocene in the Maya Lowlands (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Ernesto Arredondo. Luke Auld-Thomas.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The Maya Lowlands have been a focus of human development across millennia, and the impact of Maya civilization on this tropical environment has been a focus of sustained research and intense debate. It has become common to discuss environmental crises and societal collapse in the region as analogous to contemporary socio-environmental problems. However, the...


The politics of urbanization and the Anthropocene: a view from Cahokia (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Baires.

Anthropocene: a hotly debated geological epoch entangled with climate change, the Industrial Revolution, and the perceived deleterious effect of humans on the natural world. A dialectic surrounds the Anthropocene because identifying this epoch, geologically, has real implications for global politics and the future of humanity in a changing global environment. Crossland (2014) suggests that to understand the palimpsest of global human action that resulted in the Anthropocene requires us to...


The Pre-Columbian Exchange: The Anthropogenic Zoogeography of Insular Caribbean Translocations (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Scott Fitzpatrick. Christina Giovas. Michelle LeFebvre.

The post-Columbian introduction of exotic animals in the West Indies initiated a cascade of ecological changes, resulting in extensive defaunation, reduction and homogenization of biodiversity, loss of ecosystem services, and extinction of island endemics. Yet, these changes were not without precedent in the Caribbean, one of the world’s foremost biodiversity hotspots. Evidence suggests that in the years before 1492, Amerindians in the region had already profoundly impacted insular ecology,...


The Roots of the Modern Anthropocene: The Yellow River Valley, China, 5000-2000 BP (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Tristram Kidder.

I use geoarchaeological data to argue that human activity in the late Holocene transformed the environments of the Yellow River, China, into an anthropogenic landscape and that these changes altered China’s history. Ancient China provides a critical case study for understanding how economic intensification, demographic change, technological innovation, and political centralization combine to create the roots of the modern Anthropocene. The Yellow River-- known as "China’s Sorrow"—is seen as a...


The Tangled Roots of the Anthropocene: China from the Late Neolithic to the Song Dynasty (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Tristram Kidder. Yijie Zhuang.

The Anthropocene is now commonly defined as a geological event, or "golden spike" that begins in the later twentieth century with the detonation of nuclear weapons. While this event-based characterization serves a useful purpose in providing a formal geological definition, it tells us nothing of how humans developed the social, economic, technological, and moral capacities that allow us to affect natural processes at a global scale. Using archaeological and environmental data from China between...


Who Owns the Anthropocene and Does It Matter? (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Nicole Boivin.

While there is little doubt that we currently live in an era in which humans have become the dominant force shaping climate and environments globally, the question of when we entered this era has become a contentious one. Many archaeologists argue for an early start date, but have been largely excluded from geology-driven discussions by the Working Group on the Anthropocene. Does this matter? This paper will explore this question, and consider more broadly the place of archaeology in shaping...