Examples of how human societies are changing the planet in abundance – from building roads and houses, clearing forests for agriculture and digging train tunnels, to shrinking the ozone layer, driving endangered species, changing climate and acidifying the oceans.
Human impacts are everywhere. Our societies have changed the Earth in such a way that it is impossible to reverse many of these effects.
Some researchers believe that these changes are so great that they mark the beginning of a new "human age" in earth history, the era of the Anthropocene.  The Committee of Geologists proposed to mark the beginning of the Anthropocene in the mid-20th century on the basis of a striking indicator: the widespread radioactive dust from nuclear bomb tests in the early 1
But this is not the last word.
Not everyone is sure that modern industrialized, globalized societies will be long enough to set a new geological age. Maybe we are just a glimpse into the pan – an event – not a long, lasting era.
Others have discussed the usefulness of choosing a thin line in Earth's geological record to mark the beginning of human impact in the geological record. Perhaps the Anthropocene began at different times in different parts of the world.
For example, the first cases of agriculture occur in different places at different times and have led to enormous environmental impacts, through land clearing, habitat loss, extinction, erosion and carbon emissions, forever changing the global climate.
If there are multiple beginnings, scientists have to answer more complex questions – when did agriculture begin to transform landscapes in different parts of the world?
This is a difficult question because archaeologists tend to focus their research on a limited number of sites and regions and to prioritize places where agriculture is thought to have emerged early.
To date, archaeologists have found it nearly impossible to draw a global picture of land-use change over time.
Global responses from local experts
To address these questions, we have combined scientific collaboration between archaeologists, anthropologists, and geographers to explore archeological knowledge of land use across the globe.
We have asked over 1300 archaeologists from around the world to contribute with their knowledge of how ancient people used land in 146 regions spanning all continents except Antarctica from 10,000 years ago to 1850.
More than 250 responded, representing the largest expert archaeological crowdsourcing project ever undertaken, although some previous projects have worked with amateur input.
Our work has now mapped the current state of archaeological knowledge about the use of earth on the planet, including parts of the world that have rarely been addressed in previous studies.
We used a crowdsourcing approach, since scientific publications do not always include the original data needed to allow global comparisons.
Even when these data are shared by archaeologists, they use many different formats from one project to another, making it difficult to combine for large-scale analysis.
Our goal at first was to make it easier for everyone to check their work and reuse our data – we put all our research materials online where they can be freely accessible by anyone
Earlier and more widespread human impacts
Although our study obtained expert archeological information from around the globe, the data were more accessible in some regions – including Southwest Asia, Europe, North China, Australia, and North America – than in others.
more archaeologists have worked in these regions than elsewhere, such as parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.
Our Archaeologists Again Recall that almost half (42 percent) of our regions had some form of agriculture 6,000 years ago, highlighting the spread of agricultural economies around the world.
Moreover, these results indicate that the beginning of agriculture was earlier and more widespread than suggested in the most widely used global reconstruction of land use history, the Global Environment Historical Database.
This is important because climate scientists often use this database of past conditions to evaluate future climate change; According to our study, the climate effects associated with land use may be underestimated.
Our study also revealed that hunting and fodder were generally replaced by pastoralism (farming animals such as cows and sheep for food and other resources) and agriculture in most places, although there were exceptions.
There have been twists and turns in several areas and agriculture has not only replaced feed, but merged with it and coexisted with each other for some time.
The deep roots of the Anthropocene
archaeological evidence shows that human transformation of the environment began at different times in different regions and accelerated with the advent of agriculture.
However, 3,000 years ago, most of the planet had already been transformed by hunter-gatherers, farmers and pastoralists.  To steer this planet towards a better future, we must understand how we got here. The message of archeology is clear. It took thousands of years for the virgin planet to become a human planet today.
And there is no way to fully understand this human planet without building on the expertise of archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and other human scientists.
In order to build a healthier Earth science in the Anthropocene, the human sciences must play a central role, just like the natural sciences today.
Ben Marwick, Assistant Professor of Archeology, University of Washington; Earl K. Ellis, Professor of Geography and Ecological Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Lucas Stevens, Associate Professor of Archeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and Nicole Boyvin, Director of the Department of Archeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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