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Macrosession 6. Interactions between humanity and the environment in the longue durée

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Committee: Daniela Ciaffi (Politecnico di Torino – DIST), Maria Adriana Giusti (Politecnico di Torino – DAD), Rosa Tamborrino (Politecnico di Torino – DIST), Willeke Wendrich (University of California, Los Angeles, USA).

Reporting: Willeke Wendrich (University of California, Los Angeles, USA).

In this Macrosession with a multi-disciplinary endeavour, we consider the interaction between humanity and its environment in the longue durée. The term Anthropocene has been coined as a geological era to indicate the measurable influence of human activity in the geological record. It does not, however, consider the human perspective. Archaeology provides the possibility to understand not just what this measurable influence is, but also how and why it came into being. Our environment is a palimpsest of human activity, of which part is characterized as "damage or destruction", while other elements are considered "cultural heritage" and are preserved for posterity. The built and natural environment are closely linked to memory and oral history, both at present and in the past.

This macrosession includes presentations on the current, rural, urban and peri-urban landscape to explore this complexity, for instance as a number of disconnections between environment and community; or between community and its cultural heritage. In the perspective of the urban environment in relation to landscape, archaeology has a unique role to perform. It allows for a longue dureé perspective, gives a voice and place in history to communities from the past and reconnects natural and cultural heritage to local communities in the present.

More specifically the macrosession will include (but it will be limited to):