Humans have ushered in a new geological era of the Earth

Some researchers believe these changes were so great that they marked the beginning of a new “human age” in Earth’s history, dubbed the Anthropocene epoch.

A worldwide committee of geologists has now proposed marking the beginning of the Anthropocene epoch in the mid-20th century, based on one striking indicator: widely scattered fallout from events nuclear bomb tests in the early 1950s.

Not everyone is sure that today’s globalized, industrialized society will be long enough to define a new geological epoch. Perhaps the Anthropocene began at different times in different parts of the world.

For example, the first cases of agriculture appeared in different places at different times and led to major environmental impacts, through land clearing, habitat loss, extinction. , erosion and carbon emissions, which change the global climate.

Humans have ushered in a new geological era of the Earth
Perhaps the Anthropocene began at different times in different parts of the world.

If there are multiple beginnings, scientists need to answer more complex questions like when did agriculture begin to transform the landscape in different parts of the world?

This is a difficult question because archaeologists tend to focus their research on a limited number of sites and areas and prioritize sites where agriculture is thought to have appeared earliest.

To date, archaeologists have proven nearly impossible to give a global picture of land-use changes throughout time.

To address these questions, collaborative research among archaeologists, anthropologists, and geographers is needed to survey archaeological knowledge of land use across the planet.

The team asked more than 1,300 archaeologists from around the world to contribute their knowledge of how ancient people used the land in 146 regions spanning all continents excluding Antarctica from 10,000. years ago until 1850.

More than 250 responses represent the largest expert archeology community project ever undertaken, although some previous projects have worked with amateur contributions.

The researchers’ work has now mapped the current state of archaeological knowledge of land use across the planet, including in parts of the world rarely considered in previous studies.

Archaeologists have reported that nearly half of our regions had some form of agriculture 6,000 years ago, highlighting the prevalence of agrarian economies across the globe.

Furthermore, these results indicate that the onset of agriculture was earlier and more common than suggested in the most common global reconstruction of land use history. This is important because climate scientists often use databases of past conditions to estimate future climate change.

The team’s survey also revealed that hunting and foraging is often replaced by raising animals such as cows and sheep for food and other resources.