Human Impact on Ancient Environments

Author: Charles L. Redman
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816519633
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Social Science

Threats to biodiversity, food shortages, urban sprawl . . . lessons for environmental problems that confront us today may well be found in the past. The archaeological record contains hundreds of situations in which societies developed long-term sustainable relationships with their environmentsÑand thousands in which the relationships were destructive. Charles Redman demonstrates that much can be learned from an improved understanding of peoples who, through seemingly rational decisions, degraded their environments and threatened their own survival. By discussing archaeological case studies from around the worldÑfrom the deforestation of the Mayan lowlands to soil erosion in ancient Greece to the almost total depletion of resources on Easter IslandÑRedman reveals the long-range coevolution of culture and environment and clearly shows the impact that ancient peoples had on their world. These case studies focus on four themes: habitat transformation and animal extinctions, agricultural practices, urban growth, and the forces that accompany complex society. They show that humankind's commitment to agriculture has had cultural consequences that have conditioned our perception of the environment and reveal that societies before European contact did not necessarily live the utopian existences that have been popularly supposed. Whereas most books on this topic tend to treat human societies as mere reactors to environmental stimuli, Redman's volume shows them to be active participants in complex and evolving ecological relationships. Human Impact on Ancient Environments demonstrates how archaeological research can provide unique insights into the nature of human stewardship of the Earth and can permanently alter the way we think about humans and the environment.

Human Impact on Ancient Environments

Author: Charles L. Redman
Publisher:
ISBN: UCSD:31822029824703
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Science

Threats to biodiversity, food shortages, urban sprawl . . . lessons for environmental problems that confront us today may well be found in the past. The archaeological record contains hundreds of situations in which societies developed long-term sustainable relationships with their environments—and thousands in which the relationships were destructive. Charles Redman demonstrates that much can be learned from an improved understanding of peoples who, through seemingly rational decisions, degraded their environments and threatened their own survival. By discussing archaeological case studies from around the world—from the deforestation of the Mayan lowlands to soil erosion in ancient Greece to the almost total depletion of resources on Easter Island—Redman reveals the long-range coevolution of culture and environment and clearly shows the impact that ancient peoples had on their world. These case studies focus on four themes: habitat transformation and animal extinctions, agricultural practices, urban growth, and the forces that accompany complex society. They show that humankind's commitment to agriculture has had cultural consequences that have conditioned our perception of the environment and reveal that societies before European contact did not necessarily live the utopian existences that have been popularly supposed. Whereas most books on this topic tend to treat human societies as mere reactors to environmental stimuli, Redman's volume shows them to be active participants in complex and evolving ecological relationships. Human Impact on Ancient Environments demonstrates how archaeological research can provide unique insights into the nature of human stewardship of the Earth and can permanently alter the way we think about humans and the environment.

Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems

Author: Torben C. Rick
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520253434
Release Date: 2008-04-29
Genre: History

“An excellent volume with mature, sophisticated, comprehensive research by leaders in the fields of archaeology, zooarchaeology, and paleoarchaeology that will be useful to scientists of many interests.”—David Steadman, author of Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds “This volume will make a significant contribution to our understanding of ancient human impacts on marine ecosystems, which will be of interest to all researchers who are concerned about the environment. The editors and contributors are commended for their efforts on this significant research topic.”—Steven R. James, coeditor of The Archaeology of Global Change: The Impact of Humans on Their Environment

Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments

Author: Vivien Gornitz
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781402045516
Release Date: 2008-10-31
Genre: Science

One of Springer’s Major Reference Works, this book gives the reader a truly global perspective. It is the first major reference work in its field. Paleoclimate topics covered in the encyclopedia give the reader the capability to place the observations of recent global warming in the context of longer-term natural climate fluctuations. Significant elements of the encyclopedia include recent developments in paleoclimate modeling, paleo-ocean circulation, as well as the influence of geological processes and biological feedbacks on global climate change. The encyclopedia gives the reader an entry point into the literature on these and many other groundbreaking topics.

Environmental Archaeology

Author: Dena F. Dincauze
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521310776
Release Date: 2000-08-17
Genre: Social Science

Archaeologists today need a wide range of scientific approaches in order to delineate and interpret the ecology of their sites. But borrowing concepts from other disciplines demands a critical understanding, and the methods must be appropriate to particular sets of data. This book is an authoritative and essential guide to methods, ranging from techniques for measuring time with isotopes and magnetism to the sciences of climate reconstruction, geomorphology, sedimentology, soil science, paleobotany and faunal paleoecology. Their applications are illustrated by examples from the Paleolithic, through classical civilizations, to urban archaeology.

Our Ecological Footprint

Author: Mathis Wackernagel
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865713123
Release Date: 1998-07-01
Genre: Nature

Our Ecological Footprint presents an internationally-acclaimed tool for measuring and visualizing the resources required to sustain our households, communities, regions and nations, converting the seemingly complex concepts of carrying capacity, resource-use, waste-disposal and the like into a graphic form that everyone can grasp and use. An excellent handbook for community activists, planners, teachers, students and policy makers.

The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History

Author: William Harris
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9789004254053
Release Date: 2013-07-25
Genre: History

The product of a collaboration between scientists, historians and archaeologists, this book breaks new ground in the study of the long-term interaction between environmental factors, including climate, and human beings.

Questioning Collapse

Author: Patricia A. McAnany
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107717329
Release Date: 2009-09-28
Genre: Social Science

Questioning Collapse challenges those scholars and popular writers who advance the thesis that societies - past and present - collapse because of behavior that destroyed their environments or because of overpopulation. In a series of highly accessible and closely argued essays, a team of internationally recognized scholars bring history and context to bear in their radically different analyses of iconic events, such as the deforestation of Easter Island, the cessation of the Norse colony in Greenland, the faltering of nineteenth-century China, the migration of ancestral peoples away from Chaco Canyon in the American southwest, the crisis and resilience of Lowland Maya kingship, and other societies that purportedly 'collapsed'. Collectively, these essays demonstrate that resilience in the face of societal crises, rather than collapse, is the leitmotif of the human story from the earliest civilizations to the present. Scrutinizing the notion that Euro-American colonial triumphs were an accident of geography, Questioning Collapse also critically examines the complex historical relationship between race and political labels of societal 'success' and 'failure'.

Mapping Archaeological Landscapes from Space

Author: Douglas C Comer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781461460749
Release Date: 2013-01-10
Genre: Social Science

Mapping Archaeological Landscapes from Space offers a concise overview of air and spaceborne imagery and related geospatial technologies tailored to the needs of archaeologists. Leading experts including scientists involved in NASA’s Space Archaeology program provide technical introductions to five sections: 1) Historic Air and Spaceborne Imagery 2) Multispectral and Hyperspectral Imagery 3) Synthetic Aperture Radar 4) Lidar 5) Archaeological Site Detection and Modeling Each of these five sections includes two or more case study applications that have enriched understanding of archaeological landscapes in regions including the Near East, East Asia, Europe, Meso- and North America. Targeted to the needs of researchers and heritage managers as well as graduate and advanced undergraduate students, this volume conveys a basic technological sense of what is currently possible and, it is hoped, will inspire new pioneering applications. Particular attention is paid to the tandem goals of research (understanding) and archaeological heritage management (preserving) the ancient past. The technologies and applications presented can be used to characterize environments, detect archaeological sites, model sites and settlement patterns and, more generally, reveal the dialectic landscape-scale dynamics among ancient peoples and their social and environmental surroundings. In light of contemporary economic development and resultant damage to and destruction of archaeological sites and landscapes, applications of air and spaceborne technologies in archaeology are of wide utility and promoting understanding of them is a particularly appropriate goal at the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.​

Collapse

Author: Jared Diamond
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141976969
Release Date: 2013-03-21
Genre: History

From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations. Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future. What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island? What happened to the architects of the crumbling Maya pyramids? Will we go the same way, our skyscrapers one day standing derelict and overgrown like the temples at Angkor Wat? Bringing together new evidence from a startling range of sources and piecing together the myriad influences, from climate to culture, that make societies self-destruct, Jared Diamond's Collapse also shows how - unlike our ancestors - we can benefit from our knowledge of the past and learn to be survivors. 'A grand sweep from a master storyteller of the human race' Daily Mail 'Riveting, superb, terrifying' Observer 'Gripping ... the book fulfils its huge ambition, and Diamond is the only man who could have written it' Economist 'This book shines like all Diamond's work' Sunday Times Jared Diamond (b. 1937) is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Until recently he was Professor of Physiology at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies, which also is the winner of Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.

Man and Nature

Author: George Perkins Marsh
Publisher: New York : C. Scribner
ISBN: OXFORD:590656278
Release Date: 1864
Genre: Conservation of natural resources


Qsar es Seghir

Author: Charles L. Redman
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9781483268408
Release Date: 2014-05-10
Genre: History

Qsar es-Seghir: An Archaeological View of Medieval Life presents the findings of archaeological investigations at Qsar es-Seghir, a medieval port midway between Tangier and Ceuta on the Moroccan shores of the Strait of Gibraltar. The archaeology and material inventory of Qsar es-Seghir are described, along with the reconstruction of the city based on archaeological analysis. Comprised of seven chapters, this book begins with an introduction to Qsar es-Seghir and an overview of the Moroccan-American Archaeological Project that was launched with the support of the Smithsonian Institution and the government of Morocco to study life in this ancient Islamic city during the medieval period. After documenting the history of Qsar es-Seghir, the Islamic city is described based on the accounts of geographers and historians and then as it emerged through the archaeological excavations. Emphasis is on the architecture and town plan as they reveal the organizing principles of the society and the daily lifeways of its inhabitants. Subsequent chapters focus on the artifacts used by the people of Qsar es-Seghir, including tools, weapons, tableware, and jewelry; the activities that were conducted at Qsar es-Seghir; and the town plan, fortifications, monuments, and housing at Qsar es-Seghir as a Portuguese colony. This monograph should be of value to students, researchers, and practitioners in the fields of archaeology and anthropology, as well as to laypersons interested in medieval life.

Human Impacts on Salt Marshes

Author: Brian R. Silliman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520258924
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Nature

"Human Impacts on Salt Marshes provides an excellent global synthesis of an important, underappreciated environmental problem and suggests solutions to the diverse threats affecting salt marshes."--Peter B. Moyle, University of California, Davis

The Environment and World History

Author: Edmund Burke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520256875
Release Date: 2009
Genre: History

In 11 essays, the contributors examine the connections between environmental change and other major topics of early modern world history: population growth, commercialization, imperialism, industrialization, the fossil fuel revolution, and more.