Ice and Concrete

Solid Fluids of Environmental Change

Authors

  • Cristián Simonetti Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Tim Ingold University of Aberdeen

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.33371

Keywords:

ice, concrete, time, space, solids, fluids, Anthropocene, climate change

Abstract

Recent environmental changes have sparked off unprecedented dialogues between practitioners of the earth sciences and the humanities, which defy some of the basic assumptions underpinning western science. However, a gap still persists between natural scientists and scholars in the humanities in their tendency to concentrate respectively on the solid matter and fluid meaning. This article seeks to close this gap by paying attention to glacial ice and concrete, materials that often mark the onset and culmination of human history and have been historically regarded as solid fluids. We suggest that ice and concrete are caught in a punctuated understanding of change that turns fluidity and solidity into mutually exclusive properties. The article concludes by comparing this oxymoronic syndrome with the ways the Inuit of West Greenland experience their cryogenic landscapes as nurturing environments in constant becoming.

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Author Biographies

Cristián Simonetti, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Cristián Simonetti is Assistant Professor at the Programa de Antropología, Instituto de Sociología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen. Address for correspondence: Programa de Antropología. Pontificia Universidad Católica, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Macul, Santiago, 7820436, Chile.

Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen

Tim Ingold is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen. Address for correspondence:Department of Anthropology, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB243QY, Scotland, UK.

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Published

2018-06-04

How to Cite

Simonetti, C., & Ingold, T. (2018). Ice and Concrete: Solid Fluids of Environmental Change. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(1), 19–31. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.33371