Islands in the Rainforest: Landscape Management in Pre-Columbian Amazonia

1st Edition

Stéphen Rostain

Routledge
Published April 1, 2014
Reference - 277 Pages
ISBN 9781598746358 - CAT# Y287261
Series: New Frontiers in Historical Ecology

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Summary

Stéphen Rostain’s book is a culmination of 25 years of research on the extensive human modification of the wetlands environment of Guiana and how it reshapes our thinking of ancient settlement in lowland South America and other tropical zones. Rostain demonstrates that populations were capable of developing intensive raised-field agriculture, which supported significant human density, and construct causeways, habitation mounds, canals, and reservoirs to meet their needs. The work is comparative in every sense, drawing on ethnology, ethnohistory, ecology, and geography; contrasting island Guiana with other wetland regions around the world; and examining millennia of pre-Columbian settlement and colonial occupation alike. Rostain’s work demands a radical rethinking of conventional wisdom about settlement in tropical lowlands and landscape management by its inhabitants over the course of millennia.

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