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Weathering Climate Change in Archaeology: Conceptual Challenges and an East African Case Study

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Petek-Sargeant, N 
Lane, PJ 


jats:pResearch on the social dimensions of climate change is increasingly focused on people's experiences, values and relations to the environment as a means to understand how people interpret and adapt to changes. However, a particular challenge has been making seemingly temporally and geographically distant climate change more immediate and local so as to prompt behavioural change. Environmental humanists, anthropologists and historians have tried to address the challenge through analysis of the experiences, philosophies and memories of weather. Archaeology, commonly preoccupied by hard science approaches to climate change, has largely been absent from this conversation. Nevertheless, with its insights into material outcomes of human experiences and relations, it can become integral to the discussion of ‘weathering’ climate change and historicizing weather. Here, drawing on the subtleties of responses by Ilchamus communities in Kenya and using a mix of historical and archaeological sources, we highlight their experiences of weather since the end of the Little Ice Age and explore the potential of building archaeologies of weather.</jats:p>



4301 Archaeology, 4303 Historical Studies, 43 History, Heritage and Archaeology, 13 Climate Action

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Cambridge Archaeological Journal

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AH/R005443/2)
Early Stage Researcher on the Marie Curie Skłodowska Innovative Training Networks Resilience in East African Landscapes (REAL) project, funded by a grant from the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (Grant no. 606879)