The Archaeology of Sustainability
Mar 19, 2014
from 05:15 PM to 07:00 PM
|Where||Executive Office, Inverness|
|Contact Phone||01463 279344|
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Archaeology, history and palaeoenvironment studies form our understanding of past societies and their relationship to the environment, but have not been combined effectively to explore sustainability in the past. Fairly crude and well known ‘lessons from the past’ have been drawn from these disciplines, but extensive studies of the relationship between environmental and societal change per se, and a thorough examination of the potential for the past to play its role future sustainability, have been neglected.
Science-based approaches have tended to remove human agency to a large degree from discussion in which past societies are seen as quite passive responders or adaptors to external phenomena and conditions. Using a broader sphere of interpretative archaeological approaches combined with the more scientific approaches can provide a much more nuanced account of the complex and reflexive relationship between people and the environment. The way in which people perceived of their world, and the role of ritual and cosmology, can be seen to be as vitally important factors in how people sustained and renewed themselves. This contention will be illustrated using the rich and well preserved archaeological remains of the Highlands and Islands.
Professor Downes will present her inaugural lecture on March 19th at Executive Office from 5.15pm – 7pm and will be available for audience questions.
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