Profa. Dra. Ximena S. Villagran, Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia, Universidade de São Paulo
The Anthropocene is one of the most debated concepts in the natural and human sciences today. The term refers to the geological era that begins with human impacts on the Earth, leaving visible marks on the relief, sediments, vegetation, climatic and ecological changes, etc. Archaeology is one of the closest disciplines to discussions about the Anthropocene, especially when trying to understand the chronology and human activities linked to its beginning. This lecture will explore the use of soil micromorphology in the archaeology of the Anthropocene as a tool for studying the different "moments" that are often proposed as marking the beginning of this era, such as: 1) human occupations at the beginning of the Holocene; 2) deforestation associated with the expansion of agriculture, 8000 years ago; 3) the creation of anthropogenic soils and deposits, 2000 years ago; 4) the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; 5) and atomic detonations in the 1950’s. The various moments will be approached using examples from world archaeology, emphasizing the various macro and microscopic evidence that point to the deep history of human alterations on Earth.