How Can Archaeology Help Us Unravel the Anthropocene?


By tracing changes in human behavior over time, Kluiving and Hamel examine why the Anthropocene emerged. They suggest that an analysis of global changes in human niche construction using geoarchaeological data offers new perspectives on the causes and effects of the Anthropocene. By bringing together research on how the start of the Anthropocene has been determined so far and on the importance of human activity in determining the causes of anthropogenic change, they provide an alternative explanation for the onset of the Anthropocene—one which corresponds to Ellis’s concept of runaway sociocultural niche construction.