By: Thomas Whitmore and Billie Lee Turner
311 pages, B/w photos, tabs, maps
Assesses the agricultural and human-environment conditions existing prior to the European conquest of Middle America, and its implications for various contemporary themes ranging from global change to the presumed 'environment friendly' Native American.
Whitmore and Turner have produced a very good read. Their work will stand for a long time as a benchmark of thoughtful and comprehensive synthesis that takes stock of our present understanding and points the way to fruitful future research in archaeology, geography, ecology, ethnobotany, ethnography, and history. Journal of Anthropological Research This book is the most complete and comprehensive synthesis of indigenous Middle American cultivation that I know of. The thirty-eight page bibliography alone is worth the purchase price. Journal of Anthropological Research This is a major contribution to the literature and an essential reference for those with interest in the religion and era. Martha Works, Portland State University, Oregon ...a powerful reminder of how complex and sophisticated cultural modifications to the environment were in this time period and how the ebb and flow of civilizations transformed landscapes in Middle America. Martha Works, Portland State University, Oregon
List of Figures; List of Maps; 1. On the Eve of Conquest: The Context and Background to the Problem; 2. The Context of Cultivation: Social and Economic Organization and the General Nature of Cropping; 3. Arboriculture and Horticulture; 4. Rainfed Cultivation; 5. Terrace Cultivation; 6. Floodwater and Irrigated Cultivation; 7. Wetland Cultivation; 8. Inventing Histories? Themes and Implications; Bibliography; Index
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