chapter  10
Ancient Climate and Environment
Pages 19

Human societies have adapted to changing environments and long-and short-term cli-

mate change since before the Ice Age began some 1.5 million years ago. In recent years,

a revolution in the study of ancient climate change using deep-sea cores and ice cores, as

well as tree-ring and pollen analysis, has made it possible to look at ancient human soci-

eties in the context of such changes on a much more detailed scale. Chapter 10 describes

the major events of the Ice Age, then the Holocene, and also the major climatological

approaches for studying them. We discuss the impacts of El Niños and droughts on

societies like the Moche of the Andes and the Ancestral Pueblo of the Southwest. The

multidisciplinary science of geoarchaeology is of central importance in studying climatic

change in the past.