Late Quaternary Environmental Change: Physical and Human Perspectives

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9780130333445: Late Quaternary Environmental Change: Physical and Human Perspectives

Late Quaternary Environmental Change addresses the interaction between human agency and other environmental factors in the landscapes, particularly of the temperate zone.

Taking an ecological approach, the authors cover the last 20,000 years during which the climate has shifted from arctic severity to the conditions of the present interglacial environment.

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Late Quaternary Environmental Change : Physical and Human Perspectives

Martin Bell and Michael J. C. Walker

Second edition

Late Quaternary Environmental Change considers the interaction between human agency and other environmental factors in the landscape. This second edition has been extensively revised, rewritten and reillustrated to take account of remarkable developments in Quaternary Science and Archaeology over the last twelve years.  The book deals largely with events over the course of the last 25, 000 years during which the climate of the mid- and high-latitude regions of the world shifted from one of arctic severity to warmer regimes of the present interglacial period. The natural environmental changes of this period were accompanied by equally dramatic human social change, as environments were increasingly transformed by human activities, leading to the creation of cultural landscapes.

Key features

  • Environmental changes, particularly in the northern temperate zone, are examined at a range of temporal and spatial scales.
  • An ecological dynamic approach is adopted in which the role of human agency is seen as part of a spectrum of interacting disturbance factors.
  • Integration of scientific and social perspectives is given particular emphasis through consideration of the nature of environmental changes and how they were perceived.
  • New perspectives are provided for current debates on future environmental management and the formulation of sustainable strategies and conservation policies.


This text will be essential reading for students in archaeology, geography, environmental science, geology, history and environmental conservation. It will also be of interest to professional archaeologists, and anyone with an interest in the study of archaeology and environmental history.

Martin Bell is Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Reading, UK where he teaches Geoarchaeology and Environmental Archaeology.
Mike Walker is Professor of Quaternary Science at the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK.

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Bell, Martin; Walker, M.J.C.
Published by Prentice Hall (2004)
ISBN 10: 0130333441 ISBN 13: 9780130333445
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