The Anthropocene: Present Singular or Past Plural?

Author(s): Thomas Leppard

Year: 2018


To what extent are Anthropocene dynamics prefigured or anticipated in microcosm during the later Quaternary, and how do scalar differences in environmental organization (result in anthropic processes working at different rates) complicate any search for a Golden Spike? Drawing on datasets from islands worldwide during the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene, this paper explores how humans drive change in biophysical systems, emphasizing similarities of type yet differences of scale between deep-time and more recent instances of human-driven environmental change. In so doing, an attempt is made (a) to underline long-term and general trends in human-environment interaction and (b) to suggest that the emerging biodiversity crisis represents a culmination of these trends rather than being fully qualitatively novel.

Cite this Record

The Anthropocene: Present Singular or Past Plural?. Thomas Leppard. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444000)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18785