By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Archaeological assessment reveals Earth’s early transformation through land use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 29 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 30 Aug 2019
Issue number6456
Pages (from-to)897-902
Early online date30/08/19
Original languageEnglish


Environmentally transformative human use of land accelerated with the emergence of agriculture, but the extent, trajectory, and implications of these early changes are not well understood. An empirical global assessment of land use from 10,000 BP to 1850 CE reveals a planet largely transformed by hunter-gatherers, farmers and pastoralists by 3,000 years ago, significantly earlier than land-use reconstructions commonly used by Earth scientists. Synthesis of knowledge contributed by over 250 archaeologists highlighted gaps in archaeological expertise and data quality, which peaked at 2000 BP and in traditionally studied and wealthier regions. Archaeological reconstruction of global land-use history illuminates the deep roots of Earth’s transformation and challenges the emerging Anthropocene paradigm that large-scale anthropogenic global environmental change is mostly a recent phenomenon.

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations