In the face of debates about the Anthropocene – a geological epoch of our own making – and contemporary concerns about ecological crisis and the sixth mass extinction, it is more important than ever to locate the timeframe of human activity within the deep time of planetary history. This path-breaking book is a timely critical review of the anthropology of time, exploring our human relationship with the timescale of geological formation. Richard D. G. Irvine shows how the time-horizons of social life are a matter of crucial concern, and lays bare the ways in which human activity becomes severed from the long-term geological and ecological rhythms on which it depends.
1. Time Depth
2. Time Travelling Pits and Migrant Rocks
3. Excluding Water
4. The Problem With Presentism
5. Mapping Deep Time
6. Geology and Biography
7. Enter Catastrophe
Richard D. G. Irvine is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.