The deep time perspective that archaeology, geology, and related disciplines provide about natural hazards, environmental change, and societal development often is ignored when today’s societies make decisions affecting social sustainability and human safety. Studies of ancient peoples and natural events can help modern society deal with problems of environmental and social change, overpopulation, and sustainability. This presentation looks at long-term effects of such things as exposure to natural chemical hazards, ancient and modern agricultural techniques, and biological and geological records of past climate and natural disasters to show the value of research in subject areas that are “beyond history.”
Allen (“Al”) Dart holds a master’s degree in anthropology from The University of Arizona and is a Registered Professional Archaeologist who has worked and volunteered in Arizona and New Mexico archaeology since 1975. He currently serves as a State Cultural Resources Specialist/Archaeologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and as the Executive Director of the Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, a Tucson non-profit organization that he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in Southwestern archaeology and cultures. Dart is a recipient of the Arizona Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology and the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award for his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.