Historical Ecology, Applied Archaeology, and the Idea of a Useable Past

Lecture by Dr. Christian Isendahl (University of Gothenburg).

2017.10.27 | Sofie Wulff Sørensen

Date Tue 28 Nov
Time 12:00 13:00
Location Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University Moesgård Allé 20, DK-8270 Højbjerg Denmark Building 4230-232


Historical ecology and applied archaeology have emerged adaptively in response to a series of issues, problems, and challenges perceived in the present. Their development pushes to the fore the key role of the detailed study of the interconnections among history, culture, and nature to contribute to problem-solving. The emergent discourse that draws on historical ecology and applied archaeology demonstrates that robust, scientific archaeological knowledge production can contribute information that resonates in the present, help us understand the significance of our being in the world, and counterbalance earlier abuses of politically motivated narratives of the past. In this presentation I discuss the relationships among historical ecology, applied archaeology, and the idea of a useable past.



Christian Isendahl (Ph.D., Uppsala University, 2002) is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. He is interested in issues of long-term sustainability and resilience, and applies a historical ecological lens to study urbanism, farming systems, water management, and socio-political organization in the past, particularly in the Maya Lowlands, the Central Andes, and the Amazon Basin. Christian is the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology (in press). He has a strong interest in exploring, detailing, and discussing how archaeological research can generate knowledge about the past and about long-term processes that provide practical insights for addressing contemporary challenges.

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