‘Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years due to human activity
‘Pristine’ landscapes simply do not exist anywhere in the world today and, in most cases, have not existed for at least several thousand years. An exhaustive review of archaeological data from the last 30 years provides details of how the world’s landscapes have been shaped by repeated human activity over many thousands of years. The paper reveals a pattern of significant, long-term, human influence on the distribution of species across all of the earth’s major occupied continents and islands. It argues that archaeological evidence has been missing from current debates about conservation priorities.