1st Edition

Palaeolandscapes in Archaeology Lessons for the Past and Future

Edited By Mike T. Carson Copyright 2022
    412 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    412 Pages 82 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What can we learn about the ancient landscapes of our world, and how can those lessons improve our future in the landscapes that we all inhabit? Those questions are addressed in this book, through a practical framework of concepts and methods, combined with detailed case studies around the world.

    The chapters explore the range of physical and social attributes that have shaped and re-shaped our landscapes through time. International authors contributed the latest results of investigating ancient landscapes (or "palaeolandscapes") in diverse settings of tropical forests, deserts, river deltas, remote islands, coastal zones, and continental interiors. The case studies embrace a broadly accommodating approach of combining archaeological evidence with other avenues of research in earth sciences, biology, and social relations. Individually and in concert, the chapters offer new perspectives on what the world’s palaeolandscapes looked like, how people lived in these places, and how communities have engaged with long-term change in their natural and cultural environments through successive centuries and millennia. The lessons are paramount for building responsible strategies and policies today and into the future, noting that many of these issues from the past have gained more urgency today.

    This book reaches across archaeology, ecology, geography, and other studies of human-environment relations that will appeal to general readers. Specialists and students in these fields will find extra value in the primary datasets and in the new ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, this book provides unique examples from the past, toward understanding the workings of sustainable landscape systems.

    1. What can we learn from palaeolandscapes in archaeology?

    Mike T. Carson

    2. Potential contributions of palaeolandscape archaeology: building strength through diversity

    Mike T. Carson

    3. 25 Years of geoarchaeological research on Paleoindian landscapes: a look back at the discipline

    Andrea K. L. Freeman

    4. Pathways along the pacific: using early stone tools to reconstruct coastal migration between Japan and the Americas

    Ian Buvit, Karisa Terry, and Masami Izuho

    5. From wetlands to deserts: the role of water in the prehistoric occupation of eastern Jordan

    Lisa A. Maher, A. J. White, Jordan Brown, Felicia De Peña, and Christopher J. H. Ames

    6. Creating living predictive models of coastal palaeoenvironmental landscapes: Georgia, USA

    Lindsey E. Cochran, Victor D. Thompson, and Bryan Tucker

    7. The Maya domestic landscape and household resilience at Actuncan, Belize: a reconstruction and modern implications

    Kara Fulton and David W. Mixter

    8. Holocene sea-level change and evolution of prehistoric settlements around the Yangtze Delta region

    Yijie Zhuang and Shenglun Du

    9. Palaeolandscapes, radiocarbon chronologies, and the human settlement of southern lowland and island Papua New Guinea

    Ben Shaw

    10. Kisim save long graun: understanding the nature of landscape change in modelling Lapita in Papua New Guinea

    Glenn R. Summerhayes

    11. How island peoples adapt to climate change: insights from studies of Fiji’s hillforts

    Patrick D. Nunn, Elia Nakoro, Roselyn Kumar, Meli Nanuku, and Mereoni Camailakeba

    12. 3500 years in a changing landscape: the House of Taga in the Mariana Islands, western Micronesia

    Mike T. Carson and Hsiao-chun Hung

    13. What have palaeolandscapes revealed about the past and for the future?

    Mike T. Carson


    Mike T. Carson (PhD in Anthropology, University of Hawai'i, 2002) has investigated archaeological landscapes throughout the Asia-Pacific region. He currently is Associate Professor of Archaeology at the Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam. He was author of Archaeological Landscape Evolution: The Mariana Islands in the Asia-Pacific Region (Springer, 2016) and Archaeology of Pacific Oceania; Inhabiting a Sea of Islands (Routledge, 2018), and he was editor of Asian Perspectives: The Journal of Archaeology for Asia and the Pacific (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014–2020).