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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Archaeology

Going Forward by Looking Back Archaeological Perspectives on Socio-Ecological Crisis, Response, and Collapse

Series: Catastrophes in Context Volume: 3
By: Felix Riede(Editor), Payson D Sheets(Editor)
458 pages, 80 illustrations, 21 maps, 11 tables
Going Forward by Looking Back
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  • Going Forward by Looking Back ISBN: 9781800739284 Paperback Mar 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Going Forward by Looking Back ISBN: 9781789208641 Hardback Sep 2020 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Selected version: £35.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Catastrophes are on the rise due to climate change, as is their toll in terms of lives and livelihoods as world populations rise and people settle into hazardous places. While disaster response and management are traditionally seen as the domain of the natural and technical sciences, awareness of the importance and role of cultural adaptation is essential. Going Forward by Looking Back catalogues a wide and diverse range of case studies of such disasters and human responses. This serves as inspiration for building culturally sensitive adaptations to present and future calamities, to mitigate their impact, and facilitate recoveries.


List of Illustrations, Figures and Tables
Introduction: Framing Catastrophes Archaeologically / Felix Riede and Payson Sheets

Section I: Fire
Chapter 1. Do Deep-Time Disasters Hold Lessons for Contemporary Understandings of Resilience and Vulnerability?: The Case of the Laacher See Volcanic Eruption / Felix Riede and Rowan Jackson
Chapter 2. Risky Business and the Future of the Past: Nuclear Power in the Ring of Fire / Karen Holmberg
Chapter 3. Do Disasters Always Enhance Inequality? / Payson Sheets
Chapter 4. Political Participation and Social Resilience to the 536/540 CE Atmospheric Catastrophe / Peter Neal Peregrine
Chapter 5. Collapse, Resilience, and Adaptation: An Archaeological Perspective on Continuity and Change in Hazardous Environments / Robin Torrence
Chapter 6. Continuity in the Face of a Slowly Unfolding Catastrophe: The Persistence of Icelandic Settlement Despite Large-Scale Soil Erosion / Andrew Dugmore, Rowan Jackson, David Cooper, Anthony Newton, Arni Daniel Juliusson, Richard Streeter, Vidar Hreinsson, Stefani Crabtree, George Hambrecht, Megan Hicks and Tom McGovern
Chapter 7. Coping through Connectedness: A Network-Based Modeling Approach Using Radiocarbon Data from the Kuril Islands of Northeast Asia / Erik Gjesfjeld and William A. Brown

Section II: Water
Chapter 8. The Materiality of Heritage Post-disaster: Negotiating Urban Politics, People, and Place through Collaborative Archaeology / Kelly M. Britt
Chapter 9. Mound-Building and the Politics of Disaster Debris / Shannon Lee Dawdy
Chapter 10. Catastrophe And Collapse in the Late Pre-Hispanic Andes: Responding for Half a Millennium to Political Fragmentation And Climate Stress / Nicola Sharratt
Chapter 11. Beyond One-Shot Hypotheses: Explaining Three Increasingly Large Collapses in the Northern Pueblo Southwest / Timothy A. Kohler, Laura J. Ellyson, and R. Kyle Bocinsky
Chapter 12. Inherent Collapse? Social Dynamics and External Forcing in Early Neolithic and Modern Southwest Germany / Detlef Gronenborn, Hans-Christoph Strien, Kai Wirtz, Peter Turchin, Christoph Zielhofer, and Rolf van Dick
Chapter 13. El Nino as Catastrophe on the Peruvian Coast / Daniel H. Sandweiss and Kirk A. Maasch
Chapter 14. A Slow Catastrophe: Anthropocene Futures and Cape Town's "Day Zero" / Nick Shepherd

Conclusion: Rewriting the Disaster Narrative, an Archaeological Imagination / Mark Schuller

Customer Reviews


Felix Riede is Professor of Climate Change Archaeology and Environmental Humanities at Aarhus University in Denmark. He heads the Laboratory for Past Disaster Science and his research focuses on the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Europe.

Payson Sheets is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. His life-long research has focused on the interrelationships among human societies and volcanic activity in ancient Central America.

Series: Catastrophes in Context Volume: 3
By: Felix Riede(Editor), Payson D Sheets(Editor)
458 pages, 80 illustrations, 21 maps, 11 tables
Media reviews

"This collection presents diverse studies of climate disasters and human responses, with a particular focus on how knowledge of past catastrophes and resilience in their aftermath can contribute to risk reduction in the future [...] This is a must-read book on how the world today will face and deal with recurrent disasters through the lens of deep history over time. Highly Recommended."

"This book is causing me to think about how greater attention to environmental hazards through an archaeological lens can shine light on both the strengths and weaknesses of human societal responses [...] [It] represents an exciting attempt to bring the heft of deep history to bear on the formidable climate-related challenges before us."
American Anthropologist

"The authors have analysed voluminous data from various sites to present a cogent picture of the response by societies to disasters resulting from volcanic eruptions, floods and droughts. The book should be read by policymakers and administrators to strengthen their work in finding disaster relief measures which are people friendly. The book has significant value."
International Journal of Environmental Studies

"This is an important body of work which significantly pushes the boundaries of the scope of archaeology [...] The volume is quite diverse, thematically, geographically, and in regard to the approach and methodological and theoretical perspectives taken. They add up to a highly interesting, stimulating, thought provoking, and inspiring work."
– Christian Isendahl, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

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