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Time, agency and the Anthropocene

  • Asa Randall (a1)

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.

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Gamble, C. 2007. Origins and revolutions: human identity in earliest prehistory. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sassaman, K.E. 2012. Futurologists look back. Archaeologies 8: 250–68.
Thomas, J. 2015. The future of archaeological theory. Antiquity 89: 1287–96.
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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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