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An Anthropology of Deep Time


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Time depth; 2. Time travelling pits and migrant rocks; 3. Excluding water; 4. The problem with presentism; 5. Mapping deep time; 6. Geology and biography; 7. Enter catastrophe; 8. Wasteland.

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Reconfigures the anthropology of time by viewing human social life as part of the long-term rhythms of geological formation.

About the Author

Richard D. G. Irvine is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.


'If much of the current sense of ecological crisis turns on how resources are abstracted from the conditions of their renewal, suppose that very evocation of the future were itself an abstraction we cannot afford. Told with verve and wit, this foray into encounters with deep time asks us to see the time that we are hiding from ourselves. Irvine's clarity of argument opens out the 'anthropology of time' onto a new horizon of global significance.' Marilyn Strathern, University of Cambridge

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