The Archaeology and Historical Ecology of Small Scale Economies

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-08
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Florida

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Most research into humans' impact on the environment has focused on large-scale societies; a corollary assumption has been that small scale economies are sustainable and in harmony with nature. The contributors to this volume challenge this notion, revealing how such communities shaped their environment-and not always in a positive way. Offering case studies from around the world-from Brazil to Japan, Denmark to the Rocky Mountains-the chapters empirically demonstrate the substantial transformations of the surrounding landscape made by hunter-gatherer and limited horticultural societies. Summarizing previous research as well as presenting new data, this book shows that the environmental impact and legacy of societies are not always proportional their size. Understanding that our species leaves a footprint wherever it has been leads to both a better understanding of our prehistoric past and to deeper implications for our future relationship to the world around us.

Author Biography

Victor D. Thompson is assistant professor at the University of Georgia. James C. Waggoner Jr. (1971-2009) conducted archaeological research in the southeastern United States.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. vii
List of Tablesp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Whispers on the Landscapep. 1
Case Studies
Human Impacts on Oyster Resources at the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition in Denmarkp. 17
Hunter-Gatherers, Endemic Island Mammals, and the Historical Ecology of California's Channel Islandsp. 41
Climate Change, Human Impacts on the Landscape, and Subsistence Specialization: Historical Ecology and Changes in Jomon Hunter-Gatherer Lifewaysp. 65
Cumulative Actions and the Historical Ecology of Islands along the Georgia Coastp. 79
A Historical Ecological Perspective on Early Agriculture in the North American Southwest and Northwest Mexicop. 96
Monumental Shell Mounds as Persistent Places in Southern Coastal Brazilp. 120
To Become a Mountain Hunter: Flexible Core Values and Subsistence Hunting among Reservation-Era Blackfeetp. 141
Comments and Considerations
Forging Collaborations between Ecology and Historical Ecologyp. 167
Observations about the Historical Ecology of Small-Scale Societiesp. 176
Epilogue: Contingency in the Environments of Foraging Societiesp. 184
Works Citedp. 189
List of Contributorsp. 223
Indexp. 229
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