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Time, agency and the Anthropocene

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2016

Asa Randall*
Affiliation:
University of Oklahoma, 455 Lindsey Street, Dale Hall Tower 521, Norman, OK 73019, USA (Email: ar@ou.edu)

Extract

The Anthropocene is here, but do we need the Anthropocene, and if so, when do we want it to start? My responses are ‘no’ and ‘never’ if the answers to those questions require a discrete definition of the Anthropocene and a specific start date. In that regard, I agree generally with Braje's arguments. Particularly unsettling in Anthropocene discourse (in archaeology or geology) has been the search for discernable origins in the form of golden spikes, and I am suspicious of even setting the Holocene as an Anthropocene equivalent. That stated, archaeology can and should continue to contribute to interdisciplinary Anthropocene dialogues.

Type
Debate
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2016 

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References

Gamble, C. 2007. Origins and revolutions: human identity in earliest prehistory. New York: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618598 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sassaman, K.E. 2012. Futurologists look back. Archaeologies 8: 250–68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11759-012-9205-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, J. 2015. The future of archaeological theory. Antiquity 89: 1287–96. http://dx.doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2015.183 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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