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Despite the fact that the human life of the past cannot be understood without taking into account its ecological relationships, environmental studies are often marginalised in archaeology. This is the first book that, by discussing the meaning and purpose we give to the expression `environmental archaeology', investigates the reasons for such a problem. This is achieved through the use of theoretical considerations and the aid of a number of case studies, which, by taking us from Anglo-Saxon England to pre-Columbian Venezuela, and from Classical Greece to late Antique Egypt, emphasise the potential of an integrated approach. The book is written by archaeologists with different backgrounds and is addressed to all researchers who care about the past relationship between people and the rest of Nature. Despite the complexity of some of the issues tackled, the book is written in an accessible manner and should be of interest to all students who want to understand the essence of archaeology beyond the boundary of the individual sub-disciplines.
Preface; U. Albarella.
Introduction. Exploring the real Nature of environmental archaeology. An introduction; U. Albarella.
Meaning and Purpose. Economic prehistory or environmental archaeology? On gaining a sense of identity; T. O'Connor. Re-inventing environmental archaeology. A comment on `Economic prehistory or environmental archaeology? On gaining a sense of identity'; Y. Hamilakis. Whose dichotomy is it anyway? A reply to Hamilakis; T. O'Connor. Environmental archaeology is not human palaeoecology; J. Driver. Environmental archaeology is dead: long live bioarchaeology, geoarchaeology and human palaeoecology. A comment on `Environmental archaeology is not human palaeoecology'; K. Thomas. A reply to Thomas; J. Driver. The poverty of empiricism and the tyranny of theory; S. Roskams, T. Saunders. Commercialising the palaeoenvironment. Developer funding and environmental archaeology; G. Hughes, A. Hammon. The responsibilities of archaeologists to nature conservation; R. Roseff. Sustainability and the rate of change. A comment on `The responsibilities of archaeologists to nature conservation'; P. Graves-Brown. A reply to Graves-Brown; R. Roseff. What is geoarchaeology? Re-examining the relationship between archaeology and earth sciences; M. Canti. Is human osteoarchaeology environmental archaeology? J.S. Derevenski.
Case Studies. The rhetoric of people and grains; D. Gheorghiu. A match made in heaven or a marriage of convenience? The problems and rewards of integrating palaeoecological and archaeological data; C. Loveluck, K. Dobney. Historical archaeology and new directions in environmental archaeology. Examples from Neolithic Scandinavia and Venezuela (400-1400 AD); S. Koerner, R. Gassón. Can't seethe wood for the trees. Interpreting woodland fire history from microscopic charcoal; J. Moore. The potential for using religious belief to derive environmental information on past societies, with a case study on the environment of Attica; R. Shiel. Reconstructing house activity areas; H. Smith, P. Marshall, M.P. Pearson. Environmental archaeology and the interpretation of social space. A comment on `Reconstructing house activity areas'; K. Milek. When method meets theory. The use and misuse of cereal producer/consumer models in archaeobotany; W. Smith. Producers and consumers in archaeobotany. A comment on `When method meets theory: the use and misuse of cereal producer/consumer models in archaeobotany'; C. Bakels.
Conclusions. Agendas for environmental archaeology; G. Barker.