- New Paths into the Anthropocene: Applying Historical Ecologies to the Human Future
- Thinking Like An Archaeologist and Thinking Like an Engineer: A Utilitarian-Perspective Archaeology
- Expedience, Impermanence, and Unplanned Obsolescence: The Coming-About of Agricultural Features and Landscapes
- Just How Long Does ‘Long-Term’ Have to Be? Matters of Temporal Scale as Impediments to Interdisciplinary Understanding in Historical Ecology
- Archaeology, Historical Sciences, and Environmental Conservation
- Landscaping, Landscape Legacies, and Landesque Capital in Pre-Columbian Amazonia
- Integrating Geoarchaeology with Archaeology for Interdisciplinary Understanding of Societal–Environmental Relations
- Digging for Indigenous Knowledge: ‘Reverse Engineering’ and Stratigraphic Sequencing as a Potential Archaeological Contribution to Sustainability Assessments
- Linking the Past and Present of the Ancient Maya: Lowland Land Use, Population Distribution, and Density in the Late Classic Period
- Paleozoology Is Valuable to Conservation Biology
- Historic Molecules Connect the Past to Modern Conservation
- Community and Conservation: Documenting Millennial Scale Sustainable Resource Use at Lake Mývatn, Iceland
- Soils, Plants, and Texts: An Archaeologist’s Tool-Box
- Grappling with Interpreting and Testing People–Landscape Dynamics
- From Narratives to Algorithms: Extending Archaeological Explanation beyond Archaeology
- Growing the Ancient Maya Social-Ecological System from the Bottom Up
- Wells, Land, and History: Archaeology and Rural Development in Southern Africa
- Participatory Checking and the Temporality of Landscapes: Increasing Trust and Relevance in Qualitative Research
- Freelisting as a Tool for Assessing Cognitive Realities of Landscape Transformation: A Case Study from Amazonia
- A 1980 Attempt at Reviving Ancient Irrigation Practices in the Pacific: Rationale, Failure, and Success
- The Invisible Landscape: The Etruscan <i>Cuniculi</i> of Tuscania as a Determinant of Present-Day Landscape and a Valuable Tool for Sustainable Water Management
- The Rehabilitation of Pre-Hispanic Agricultural Infrastructure to Support Rural Development in the Peruvian Andes: The Work of the Cusichaca Trust
- Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change
- Indigenous Technologies, Archaeology, and Rural Development in the Andes: Three Decades of Trials in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru
- Quality of Life and Prosperity in Ancient Households and Communities
- Applied Perspectives on Pre-Columbian Maya Water Management Systems: What are the Insights for Water Security?
- Beyond Rhetoric: Towards a Framework for an Applied Historical Ecology of Urban Planning
- Culture, Power, History: Implications for Understanding Global Environmental Change
- Energy Gain and the Evolution of Organization
- Conclusion: Anthropocentric Historical Ecology, Applied Archaeology, and the Future of a Usable Past
Abstract and Keywords
Historical ecological approaches to settlement aggregation and complexity reject modernist and post-modernist reliance on linear neo-evolutionary categorization of cities in relation to earlier farming communities. Instead, urban centres and multi-urban systems are viewed as components of complex heterarchically and hierarchically organized landscapes. Resilience theory has been applied in several archaeological efforts to characterize urban development of specific centres. Building on experience from the recently concluded Urban Mind project this chapter argues for a historical ecology approach to track the long-term cultural and environmental dynamics of multi-centred urban systems. Linking human cognition, social memory, ecosystem services, urban metabolism and food security, and institutions of urban governance, it uses data on long-term urban histories in the eastern Mediterranean, southern Africa, and Mesoamerica to identify implications for future urban planning initiatives.
Paul Sinclair is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University. He has conducted archaeological research throughout Africa and the western Indian Ocean for 50 years focussing on spatial complexity, urbanism, and environmental change in the Anthropocene. He has directed the Urban Origins in Eastern Africa, Human Responses and Contributions to Environmental Change in East Africa and Sri Lanka, and The Urban Mind multi-disciplinary research programmes. He has supervised more than 40 doctoral candidates. He serves as co-Chair of the executive committee of the Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE) Core project of the Future Earth consortium and is Executive Director of the Royal Academy of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Uppsala.
Christian Isendahl (Ph.D., Uppsala University, 2002) is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He is interested in issues of sustainability, vulnerability, and resilience and applies a historical ecological lens to study urbanism, farming systems, water management, and socio-political organization in the past, particularly in the Maya lowlands, the Andes, and the Amazon. He has a strong interest in exploring, discussing, and detailing how archaeological research can generate knowledge about the past and about long-term processes that provide practical insights for addressing contemporary challenges. He is a member of the scientific steering committee of the ‘Integrated History and Future of People on Earth’ (IHOPE) project.
Stephan Barthel is Associate Professor in urban planning at the University of Gävle, Sweden, and associated researcher at Stockholm Resilience Centre. His research concerns sustainable urbanism related to discourses on global environmental challenges, combining theories on socio-technical systems with those on social-ecological systems and resilience.
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