In accordance with Braudel’s concept the most distant chronological level for people is geographic time, which primarily reflects environmental conditions. On this scale history moves slowly and changes occur in almost imperceptible cycles that are repeated after specific intervals. Changes that are associated with the movement of geographic time, though slow, can be devastating. Neither an individual nor his or her society has the possibility to watch the flow of geographic time and particularly to perceive its causality. “The human memory is short; it does not take many generations to forget even major events...” (Berglund 2010). This problem, however, tends to cause fatal consequences that predetermine the collapse of communities, of states and of entire empires.
Want to learn more?
- Berglund, J. 2010. Did the Medieval Norse Society in Greenland Really Fail? In Questioning collapse: human resilience, ecological vulnerability, and the aftermath of empire, eds. P. A. McAnany, and N. Yoffee, 45-70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Sutherland, P. 2008. Norse and Natives in the Eastern Arctic. In The Viking World, eds. S. Brin, and N. Price, 613-617. London and New York: Routledge.