University of Illinois at Chicago
Roosevelt 2016 Earth Science article.pdf (14.15 MB)

Method and Theory of Early Farming: The Orinoco and Caribbean Coasts of South America

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-25, 15:27 authored by Anna RooseveltAnna Roosevelt
The early and mid 20th century was a time of great interest in the rise of agriculture and its role in the evolution of civilizations societies in particular environments. Late 20th century efforts to reconstruct the nature and history of prehistoric farming societies in the northern lowlands of South America ranged from expansive hypotheses to regional case studies using archaeobotanical technologies then available. Since 2000, a large number of regional studies using expanded and refined methods have produced broadly interesting results. Approaches from the fields of geography and earth sciences are being recruited increasingly. The resulting empirical evidence does shed light on aspects of the history of human use of some plants but, as always, has raised more questions than it solved. Many of the problems interpreting the processual and evolutionary significance of these findings are methodological ones. This article reviews what seem to be the most important methodological and interpretive issues of this area of research for the tropical lowlands (up to c. 1500 m a.s.l) of northern South America.



Roosevelt, A. C. (n.d.). Method and Theory of Early Farming: The Orinoco and Caribbean Coasts of South America. Earth Science Research, 6(1), 1-.


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