For years ecology has neglected the human role in the discipline. When it has been considered, it has been viewed in negative terms. This book sets out to lay the groundwork for a more meaningful understanding of humankind's interaction with the biosphere. Including contributions from the social as well as natural sciences, the papers consider evidence from South America, the Mississippi Delta, the Great Basin, Thailand, and India and focus on traditional societies where lands are most at risk from the incursion of complex, state-level societies.
Human and Material Factors in Historical Ecology; Historical Ecology: Premises and Postulates; Ecological History and Historical Ecology - Diachronic Modelling Versus Historical Explanation; A Historical-Ecological Perspective on Epidemic Disease; Forged in Fire - History, Land, and Anthropogenic Fire Diachronic Ecotones and Anthropogenic Landscapes in Amazonia - Contesting the Consciousness of Conservation; Metaphor and Metaphorism - Some Thoughts on Environmental Metahistory; Regional Research and Landscape Analyses in Historical Ecology; The Rat That Ate Louisiana - Aspects of Historical Ecology in the Mississippi River Delta; Cultural, Human, and Historical Ecology in the Great Basin - 50 Years of Ideas About Ten Thousand Years of Prehistory; Ancient and Modern Hunter-Gatherers of Lowland South America - An Evolutionary Problem; Potential Versus Actual Vegetation - Human Behaviour in a Landscape Medium; Domestication as a Historical and Symbolic Process - Wild Gardens and Cultivated Forests in the Ecuadorian Amazon; Independent Yet Interdependent "Isode" - The Historical Ecology of Traditional Piaroa Settlement Pattern; Whatever Happened to the Stone Age? Steel Tools and Yanomami Historical Ecology; Missionary Activity and Indian Labor in the Upper Rio Negro of Brazil, 1680-1980: A Historical-Ecological Approach; Cultural Persistence and Environmental Change - The Otomi of the Valle del Mezquital; The Great Cow Explosion in Rajasthan; The Historical Ecology of Thailand. (Part contents).
William L. Balee is professor of anthropology at Tulane University and author of Footprints of the Forest: Ka'apor Ethnobotany - The Historical Ecology of Plant Utilization by an Amazon People (Columbia).
This is an important and impressive collection. - Stephen Nugent, Antiquity "I found this book quite fascinating; it will appeal to advanced undergraduates and the research communities of geography, ecology, anthropology, and history." - Journal of Ecology