- 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
This chapter reflects on the state of the field and assesses what the approaches represented in this volume collectively can achieve; the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of historical ecology and applied archaeology and the overlap between them. Definitions drawing on the discourse developed in the volume of both concepts are offered, and the opportunities and challenges of inter- and transdisciplinary research are summarized. The future of a usable past is discussed by contextualizing volume chapters in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is suggested that research in the fields of historical ecology and applied archaeology follows three main approaches: (1) generating case studies of the past as difference, elucidating phenomena in the past that may suggest alternative possibilities to those observed in the present; (2) informing phenomena observed in the present by generating analogous case studies from the past; and (3) detailing the dynamics of long-term human–environmental processes.
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.
Daryl Stump has worked as an archaeologist in the public, commercial and research sectors for over 20 years. He has a technical specialism in complex stratigraphic excavation, a geographic specialism in east Africa, and a long standing research interest in intensive agriculture, human modification of the environment, and applied archaeology. His current research focuses on the development of agricultural landscapes with a particular emphasis on sustainability, and on the use of historical perceptions within development and conservation narratives. This interest in the contemporary uses of long-term data is reflected in publications in a range of discipline-specific and policy-oriented journals including Journal of Environmental Management, Current Anthropology, and World Development. He currently heads the ‘Archaeology of Agricultural Resilience in Eastern Africa’ project, funded by the European Research Council.
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