Table 1. Integrating natural and human history.

  Natural history Human history Integrated history for the anthropocene?
Domain Nature Society Environment (social-ecological interactions)
Time scale Longer time scales Shorter time scales Integrated time scales
Focus Causality Human agency
Contingency
Causality and agency interacting, envelope of contingency
Goal Interpreting the past from the present Interpreting the present from the past Integrating past, present, and future
  Looking for origins in terms of natural laws Looking for origins in terms of causal chains Looking for emergence (in the systems sense) to understand the present and generate a better future
Process Description, observation, and experimentation lead to explanation Description, critique, analysis, and interpretation lead to insight and understanding Description is the basis for modeling and understanding dynamics of the social-ecological system
Tools Natural science discourse Narrative and statistical discourse Multiple discourses
  Palaeoenvironmental sciences, prehistoric archaeology Classical and historic archaeology and documentary history Integrated history of people and the environment
  Conceptual frameworks Case studies as unique trajectories Use case studies embedded within conceptual frameworks to generalize