The archaeology of dreams and what it tells us about climate change

Author(s): David Whitley

Year: 2016


Why does archaeology matter in the 21st century? One value is its ability to help us understand how humans react to changing circumstances, not with law-like statements but instead in terms of general behavioral patterns. The social context south-central California rock art, a record of visions or dreams, is an example of this fact. As partly indicated by rock art, the Medieval climatic anomaly led in one area to a population collapse but, in a related region, to population increase and the emergence of hierarchical leadership. This demonstrates that even potentially devastating climate change results in winners and losers. And this raises the question of how our contemporary society will react not just to North American climate change, but change across the world, and the potentially devastating impacts it may have, e.g., in southeast Asia.

Cite this Record

The archaeology of dreams and what it tells us about climate change. David Whitley. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403464)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;