THE KEY TO OUR FUTURE IS BURIED IN THE PAST
Philosophical thoughts on saving us from ourselves Peter Nilssen and Craig Foster.
Imagine a world without fame, famine or fear, a world without waste, wars and mass extinction. Hard to imagine, and yet our ancestors lived in that world. Is it too much to imagine that we could get back to such a world? If we do not, then our future could be in serious doubt.
If human behaviour is responsible for the current status of society and the quality of life on earth, and if archaeology investigates the development of human behaviour, then our discipline should be central to understanding the present and to guiding the future of our species and life on earth.
An abundance of scientific data shows that in the last few millennia humans have placed life under severe stress and are expediting the sixth extinction event. It seems obvious then that the thrust of current research should focus on securing our future. Archaeology can be a key player in that regard. If human behaviour has brought us to this point, and if science is suggesting that we are at the end game, then we have answers to the why and when. What remains unanswered is the how. How do we alter human behaviour to achieve function and sustainability?