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.
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.
"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