By Lesley Head
Cultural landscapes tend to be understood inside actual geography as ones remodeled by way of human motion. Advances in palaeocological reconstruction recommendations have elevated our powers to determine the earliest human affects. This stimulating new booklet makes an attempt to bridge the distance among the sciences and the arts via reviewing an important methodological and conceptual instruments that support environmental scientists comprehend cultural landscapes.
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Extra resources for Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Changes (Key Issues in Environmental Change)
It is not a comprehensive review of debates about 'culture' or 'landscape', although it does summarize the most relevant parts of these debates for issues of environmental change. The issue is not to define cultural landscapes, but to consider the multiple ways in which the concept has been used. The culture of writing about environmental change is just one of the cultures that demands critical analysis. Nor is this a set of cautionary tales or heroic myths from the past about what we should do in the future, although I do identify useful principles and processes.
As in Australia, this is discussed in the context of a debate over whether New Zealand has a short (<600 yr), intermediate (c. 1000 yr) or long (>1500 yr) prehistory (Sutton, 1987; Holdaway, 1996; McGlone and Wilmshurst, 1999). And, as in Australia, the question focuses on whether palaeoecological evidence of vegetation and landscape disturbance provides evidence of human impacts independent of the archaeological record. g. , 1998a; McGlone and Wilmshurst, 1999). , 1998b) clarifies these issues.
Charcoal peaks with associated vegetation changes around 135 ka at several sites are no longer attributed to human agency (see Kershaw et al, 1993), and vegetation changes at around 175 ka at two of the northern sites do not have associated charcoal peaks. In these earlier events, 'vegetation change appears to have preceded charcoal peaks' (p. 11), and it is suggested that fire is a result of climatically driven drift towards more open vegetation. Thus while fire activity is interpreted to have increased throughout the period of these records, 'late Quaternary vegetation changes have been less dramatic than originally suggested' (p.