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Mummies and Mammoths Melting from Ice: Anthropocene Impacts on History, Archaeology, and Perceptions of the Future

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Abstract:

This paper examines the recent phenomenon of bodies and artifacts melting out of shrinking glaciers. The discovery of items like mammoth bones, ancient tools, and Andean mummies or frozen bodies emerging from thinning glaciers has transformed the ways in which we understand human history, people's historical relationships with their environments and landscapes, and the conceptualization of time and causality—both in the distant past and near future. This presentation examines some of the notable cases of things melting out of glaciers, as well as how those findings transformed archaeological understandings of the past. But the presentation also underscores why these findings have attracted so much public attention (because they came from ice, a sexy star these days amidst the Anthropocene wave) and how those artifacts and bodies from the ancient past are reconfiguring our own present-day understanding of environments—and particularly the temporal relationship and congruence (or not) with the distant past. In short, environmental changes during the Anthropocene (shrinking glaciers) are generating cultural and discursive impacts on the ways in which we understand the human experience during the entire Holocene, up to today and into the future.
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Name: ASEH Annual Conference
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http://aseh.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1171217_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Carey, Mark. "Mummies and Mammoths Melting from Ice: Anthropocene Impacts on History, Archaeology, and Perceptions of the Future" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL, <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1171217_index.html>

APA Citation:

Carey, M. "Mummies and Mammoths Melting from Ice: Anthropocene Impacts on History, Archaeology, and Perceptions of the Future" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASEH Annual Conference, Drake Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2018-01-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1171217_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: This paper examines the recent phenomenon of bodies and artifacts melting out of shrinking glaciers. The discovery of items like mammoth bones, ancient tools, and Andean mummies or frozen bodies emerging from thinning glaciers has transformed the ways in which we understand human history, people's historical relationships with their environments and landscapes, and the conceptualization of time and causality—both in the distant past and near future. This presentation examines some of the notable cases of things melting out of glaciers, as well as how those findings transformed archaeological understandings of the past. But the presentation also underscores why these findings have attracted so much public attention (because they came from ice, a sexy star these days amidst the Anthropocene wave) and how those artifacts and bodies from the ancient past are reconfiguring our own present-day understanding of environments—and particularly the temporal relationship and congruence (or not) with the distant past. In short, environmental changes during the Anthropocene (shrinking glaciers) are generating cultural and discursive impacts on the ways in which we understand the human experience during the entire Holocene, up to today and into the future.


 
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