272 pages, 54 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
It is beyond doubt that the climate is changing, presenting us with one of the biggest challenges in the twenty-first-century. During the past 150 years, archaeologists have studied the impact of climate change on humanity; however, this information has not yet been used when considering the impact climate change will have on future human communities. This pioneering study addresses this major paradox in modern climate change research, and provides the theoretical basis for archaeological data to be included in climate change debates – an approach which uses archaeological research as a repository of ideas and concepts which can help build the resilience of modern communities against the background of rapid climate change.
Applying this approach to four case study areas, which will be among the first to be significantly affected by climate change – the coastal wetlands of the North Sea, the Sundarbans, Florida's Gulf Coast, and the Iraqi Marshland, this comparative study illustrates the diversity of adaptive pathways implemented in times of climate change in the past and how these can help prepare modern communities.
"a significant addition to existing research"
– Current World Archaeology
"There are plenty of shelves with space for this bookânot only of scholars and students of archaeology and climate change, but also managers and policy makers."
– Jonathan Benjamin, Antiquity
List of figures
List of abbreviations
Note to the reader
2: Climate change archaeology: background, building blocks and concepts
3: Past, present, and future climate change
4: How climate change will affect coastal wetlands and coastal communities
5: The North Sea
6: The Sundarbans
7: Florida's coastal wetlands
8: The Iraqi marshlands
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Robert Van de Noort is Professor in Wetland Archaeology and Dean of the College of Social Sciences and International Studies at the University of Exeter.