Big bones and boulder clay were the staples of 19th-century ice age research, but microfossils and isotopes came to dominate 20th-century research. The Milankovitch revival and the development of scientific methods of dating stand out as key advances. The ‘Epilogue’ concludes that we still need to better understand the processes involved in rapid climate warming — especially the interactions between ice, oceans, and atmosphere. A deeper understanding of the interactions between landscapes, ecosystems, and shifting climates is also needed. Paradoxically, in an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever.