Rethinking Agriculture

Author: Timothy P Denham
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315421003
Size: 28.53 MB
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Although the need to study agriculture in different parts of the world on its “own terms” has long been recognized and re-affirmed, a tendency persists to evaluate agriculture across the globe using concepts, lines of evidence and methods derived from Eurasian research. However, researchers working in different regions are becoming increasingly aware of fundamental differences in the nature of, and methods employed to study, agriculture and plant exploitation practices in the past. Contributions to this volume rethink agriculture, whether in terms of existing regional chronologies, in terms of techniques employed, or in terms of the concepts that frame our interpretations. This volume highlights new archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research on early agriculture in understudied non-Eurasian regions, including Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, to present a more balanced view of the origins and development of agricultural practices around the globe.

Integrating Zooarchaeology And Paleoethnobotany

Author: Amber VanDerwarker
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441909350
Size: 18.74 MB
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In recent years, scholars have emphasized the need for more holistic subsistence analyses, and collaborative publications towards this endeavor have become more numerous in the literature. However, there are relatively few attempts to qualitatively integrate zooarchaeological (animal) and paleoethnobotanical (plant) data, and even fewer attempts to quantitatively integrate these two types of subsistence evidence. Given the vastly different methods used in recovering and quantifying these data, not to mention their different preservational histories, it is no wonder that so few have undertaken this problem. Integrating Zooarchaeology and Paleoethnobotany takes the lead in tackling this important issue by addressing the methodological limitations of data integration, proposing new methods and innovative ways of using established methods, and highlighting case studies that successfully employ these methods to shed new light on ancient foodways. The volume challenges the perception that plant and animal foodways are distinct and contends that the separation of the analysis of archaeological plant and animal remains sets up a false dichotomy between these portions of the diet. In advocating qualitative and quantitative data integration, the volume establishes a clear set of methods for (1) determining the suitability of data integration in any particular case, and (2) carrying out an integrated qualitative or quantitative approach.

Dynamics Of Forest Ecosystems In Central Africa During The Holocene Past Present Future

Author: J. Runge
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1482265990
Size: 52.65 MB
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This book consists of scientific papers resulting from an international workshop: ‘Environmental and Cultural Change in West- and Central Africa’ organized by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, March 2006. Problems of Holocene and Late Pleistocene modifications of the rain forest savanna fringe and their possible influence on cultural innovations are discussed. The book will be of interest to all concerned with tropical forests and related development problems of third world countries, especially ecologists, botanists and earth scientists. It will be valuable for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates as a reference for review and overview articles as well as a source of information for new original manuscripts on the topic of Late Pleistocene and Holocene landscape evolution in the lower latitudes of Africa. Palaeobotanists, Palynologists and Quaternarists equally will find this edition useful for their work.

The Big Muddy

Author: Christopher Morris
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977062
Size: 16.76 MB
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In The Big Muddy, the first long-term environmental history of the Mississippi, Christopher Morris offers a brilliant tour across five centuries as he illuminates the interaction between people and the landscape, from early hunter-gatherer bands to present-day industrial and post-industrial society. Morris shows that when Hernando de Soto arrived at the lower Mississippi Valley, he found an incredibly vast wetland, forty thousand square miles of some of the richest, wettest land in North America, deposited there by the big muddy river that ran through it. But since then much has changed, for the river and for the surrounding valley. Indeed, by the 1890s, the valley was rapidly drying. Morris shows how centuries of increasingly intensified human meddling--including deforestation, swamp drainage, and levee construction--led to drought, disease, and severe flooding. He outlines the damage done by the introduction of foreign species, such as the Argentine nutria, which escaped into the wild and are now busy eating up Louisiana's wetlands. And he critiques the most monumental change in the lower Mississippi Valley--the reconstruction of the river itself, largely under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers. Valley residents have been paying the price for these human interventions, most visibly with the disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina. Morris also describes how valley residents have been struggling to reinvigorate the valley environment in recent years--such as with the burgeoning catfish and crawfish industries--so that they may once again live off its natural abundance. Morris concludes that the problem with Katrina is the problem with the Amazon Rainforest, drought and famine in Africa, and fires and mudslides in California--it is the end result of the ill-considered bending of natural environments to human purposes.

The Oxford Handbook Of African Archaeology

Author: Peter Mitchell
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191626155
Size: 36.86 MB
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Africa has the longest and arguably the most diverse archaeological record of any of the continents. It is where the human lineage first evolved and from where Homo sapiens spread across the rest of the world. Later, it witnessed novel experiments in food-production and unique trajectories to urbanism and the organisation of large communities that were not always structured along strictly hierarchical lines. Millennia of engagement with societies in other parts of the world confirm Africa's active participation in the construction of the modern world, while the richness of its history, ethnography, and linguistics provide unusually powerful opportunities for constructing interdisciplinary narratives of Africa's past. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of African archaeology, covering the entirety of the continent's past from the beginnings of human evolution to the archaeological legacy of European colonialism. As well as covering almost all periods and regions of the continent, it includes a mixture of key methodological and theoretical issues and debates, and situates the subject's contemporary practice within the discipline's history and the infrastructural challenges now facing its practitioners. Bringing together essays on all these themes from over seventy contributors, many of them living and working in Africa, it offers a highly accessible, contemporary account of the subject for use by scholars and students of not only archaeology, but also history, anthropology, and other disciplines.

The Emergence Of Agriculture

Author: Tim Denham
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780415404457
Size: 39.11 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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This volume, the first in the One World Archaeology series, is a compendium of key papers by leaders in the field of the emergence of agriculture in different parts of the world. Each is supplemented by a review of developments in the field since its publication. Contributions cover the better known regions of early and independent agricultural development, such as Southwest Asia and the Americas, as well as lesser known locales, such as Africa and New Guinea. Other contributions examine the dispersal of agricultural practices into a region, such as India and Japan, and how introduced crops became incorporated into pre-existing forms of food production. This reader is intended for students of the archaeology of agriculture, and will also prove a valuable and handy resource for scholars and researchers in the area.