Cultivated Landscapes of Middle America on the Eve of Conquest

Hardcover | February 15, 2002

byThomas M. Whitmore, B. L. Turner II

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The human-environment conditions in the Americas on the eve of the sixteenth-century European conquest have of late attracted growing interest in both academic and public circles. Focusing on Middle America, this book completes a trilogy which has made the most comprehensive survey everachieved of pre-Colombian agriculture and culture throughout the continents. It addresses the question of what lands were permanently occupied; how they were used; and what the environmental and social implications of this use were. The answers to these questions are central to such wide-rangingthemes as indigenous land rights, the conservation and preservation 'ethic' of these native people, and the global carbon cycle. The kind, scale, and location of land use is documented and mapped in detail. The book not only demonstrates the sophistication of the agricultural landscapes and theirlocal integration, but also investigates the omissions and land degradation of the native agriculturalists. Drawing on this wealth of data the authors make a stimulating contribution to the debate about resource, land, and population in the Americas.

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From the Publisher

The human-environment conditions in the Americas on the eve of the sixteenth-century European conquest have of late attracted growing interest in both academic and public circles. Focusing on Middle America, this book completes a trilogy which has made the most comprehensive survey everachieved of pre-Colombian agriculture and culture ...

Dr Whitmore is director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Geography, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: secretary/treasurer of the Cultural Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Professor Turner is a former Guggenheim Fellow, Senior Fellow of the Green Center for the Study of Science an...

other books by Thomas M. Whitmore

Format:HardcoverDimensions:330 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.93 inPublished:February 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199244537

ISBN - 13:9780199244539

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of Maps1. On the Eve of Conquest: The Context and Background to the Problem2. The Context of Cultivation: Social and Economic Organization and the General Nature of Cropping3. Arboriculture and Horticulture4. Rainfed Cultivation5. Terrace Cultivation6. Floodwater and Irrigated Cultivation7. Wetland Cultivation8. Inventing Histories? Themes and ImplicationsBibliographyIndex