Scaling up and zooming in: global history and high-definition archaeology perspectives on the longue durée of urban–environmental relations in Gerasa (Jerash, Jordan)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Global History. 2021 10.1017/S1740022821000012
Combining global perspectives with localized case studies and integrating scientific and material evidence of environmental change in historical narratives are amongst the main challenges for the field of global history in addressing the dawn of the Anthropocene. In this article, we trace the relationship of the city of Gerasa (Jerash, Jordan) with its riverine hinterland, from the first millennium BCE until the nineteenth century CE. We argue that the study of long-term historical trajectories of microregions not only depends on context from regional and global history timelines, but also has the potential to provide insights relevant to those scales in return. Zooming in and scaling up must go hand in hand in order for global history perspectives to be properly informed, and archaeology and natural sciences have crucial insights to offer – although importantly only when evidence comes from well-contextualized frameworks.