Archaeological assessment reveals Earth's early transformation through land use.

Authors:
Lucas Stephens Dorian Fuller Nicole Boivin Torben Rick Nicolas Gauthier Andrea Kay Ben Marwick Chelsey Geralda Armstrong C Michael Barton Tim Denham Kristina Douglass Jonathan Driver Lisa Janz Patrick Roberts J Daniel Rogers Heather Thakar Mark Altaweel Amber L Johnson Maria Marta Sampietro Vattuone Mark Aldenderfer Sonia Archila Gilberto Artioli Martin T Bale Timothy Beach Ferran Borrell Todd Braje Philip I Buckland Nayeli Guadalupe Jiménez Cano José M Capriles Agustín Diez Castillo Çiler Çilingiroğlu Michelle Negus Cleary James Conolly Peter R Coutros R Alan Covey Mauro Cremaschi Alison Crowther Lindsay Der Savino di Lernia John F Doershuk William E Doolittle Kevin J Edwards Jon M Erlandson Damian Evans Andrew Fairbairn Patrick Faulkner Gary Feinman Ricardo Fernandes Scott M Fitzpatrick Ralph Fyfe Elena Garcea Steve Goldstein Reed Charles Goodman Jade Dalpoim Guedes Jason Herrmann Peter Hiscock Peter Hommel K Ann Horsburgh Carrie Hritz John W Ives Aripekka Junno Jennifer G Kahn Brett Kaufman Catherine Kearns Tristram R Kidder François Lanoë Dan Lawrence Gyoung-Ah Lee Maureece J Levin Henrik B Lindskoug José Antonio López-Sáez Scott Macrae Rob Marchant John M Marston Sarah McClure Mark D McCoy Alicia Ventresca Miller Michael Morrison Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute Johannes Müller Ayushi Nayak Sofwan Noerwidi Tanya M Peres Christian E Peterson Lucas Proctor Asa R Randall Steve Renette Gwen Robbins Schug Krysta Ryzewski Rakesh Saini Vivian Scheinsohn Peter Schmidt Pauline Sebillaud Oula Seitsonen Ian A Simpson Arkadiusz Sołtysiak Robert J Speakman Robert N Spengler Martina L Steffen Michael J Storozum Keir M Strickland Jessica Thompson T L Thurston Sean Ulm M Cemre Ustunkaya Martin H Welker Catherine West Patrick Ryan Williams David K Wright Nathan Wright Muhammad Zahir Andrea Zerboni Ella Beaudoin Santiago Munevar Garcia Jeremy Powell Alexa Thornton Jed O Kaplan Marie-José Gaillard Kees Klein Goldewijk Erle Ellis

Science 2019 08;365(6456):897-902

Environmentally transformative human use of land accelerated with the emergence of agriculture, but the extent, trajectory, and implications of these early changes are not well understood. An empirical global assessment of land use from 10,000 years before the present (yr B.P.) to 1850 CE reveals a planet largely transformed by hunter-gatherers, farmers, and pastoralists by 3000 years ago, considerably earlier than the dates in the land-use reconstructions commonly used by Earth scientists. Synthesis of knowledge contributed by more than 250 archaeologists highlighted gaps in archaeological expertise and data quality, which peaked for 2000 yr B.P. and in traditionally studied and wealthier regions. Archaeological reconstruction of global land-use history illuminates the deep roots of Earth's transformation and challenges the emerging Anthropocene paradigm that large-scale anthropogenic global environmental change is mostly a recent phenomenon.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aax1192DOI Listing
August 2019

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