No one will disagree that people are having a deep impact on the planet – and not all of it is good. But there is debate over whether the Earth has entered into a new geological age, which some researchers call the Anthropocene.

In a study published this week, a group of archeologists weighed in on this question. Using data collected from around the world, they map out how and when people shaped the land they lived on. In the process, they concluded that 3,000 years ago, most of the planet was already largely transformed by people – earlier than previously thought.

Some other stories for your weekend:

People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

Ben Marwick, University of Washington; Erle C. Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Lucas Stephens, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History; Nicole Boivin, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes hands with Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Jones/Pool via AP

Why the queen said yes to Boris Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament

Laura Beers, American University

The U.K. prime minister sought to suppress Parliamentary opponents, saying he – not they – represents the will of the British people. It put Queen Elizabeth II in a real bind.

Wild boar in a swamp in Slidell, Louisiana. AP Photo/Rebecca Santana

Feral pigs harm wildlife and biodiversity as well as crops

Marcus Lashley, Mississippi State University

Feral pigs are a destructive invasive species across much of North America. In a recent study, forest patches where feral pigs were present had fewer mammal and bird species than swine-free zones.

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