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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Despite an early growth of interest in archaeological problems by the science community, systematic application of earth science in a major field project during the 1920s was not directly followed up. But by 1960 environmental archaeology had become a focus of problem formulation, experimentation, and innovation, thanks to excavations led by both Classical and Anthropological archaeologists. Adequate professional training did not follow, given disciplinary hurdles and funding traps, so that geoarchaeology remained a multidisciplinary goal rather than an interdisciplinary commitment. This chapter lays out how the methods of geoarchaeology can be applied to retrieving pragmatic rather than deductive data on environmental history, which can contribute to understanding global and regional problems of degradation. This offers an avenue to monitoring human impacts and environmental change, critical for understanding landscape histories, as well as for contemporary or future issues of sustainability in coupled human–environmental systems.

Keywords: Classical versus Anthropological archaeology, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, geoarchaeology, degradation, environmental histories, regional case studies, collapse, sustainability

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