Human Impact on Ancient Environments / Edition 1

Human Impact on Ancient Environments / Edition 1

5.0 1
by Charles L. Redman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0816519633

ISBN-13: 9780816519637

Pub. Date: 10/01/1999

Publisher: University of Arizona Press


Threats to biodiversity, food shortages, urban sprawl . . . lessons for environmental problems that confront us today may well be found in the past. The archaeological record contains hundreds of situations in which societies developed long-term sustainable relationships with their environments—and thousands in which the relationships were destructive…  See more details below

Overview


Threats to biodiversity, food shortages, urban sprawl . . . lessons for environmental problems that confront us today may well be found in the past. The archaeological record contains hundreds of situations in which societies developed long-term sustainable relationships with their environments—and thousands in which the relationships were destructive. Charles Redman demonstrates that much can be learned from an improved understanding of peoples who, through seemingly rational decisions, degraded their environments and threatened their own survival. By discussing archaeological case studies from around the world—from the deforestation of the Mayan lowlands to soil erosion in ancient Greece to the almost total depletion of resources on Easter Island—Redman reveals the long-range coevolution of culture and environment and clearly shows the impact that ancient peoples had on their world. These case studies focus on four themes: habitat transformation and animal extinctions, agricultural practices, urban growth, and the forces that accompany complex society. They show that humankind's commitment to agriculture has had cultural consequences that have conditioned our perception of the environment and reveal that societies before European contact did not necessarily live the utopian existences that have been popularly supposed. Whereas most books on this topic tend to treat human societies as mere reactors to environmental stimuli, Redman's volume shows them to be active participants in complex and evolving ecological relationships. Human Impact on Ancient Environments demonstrates how archaeological research can provide unique insights into the nature of human stewardship of the Earth and can permanently alter the way we think about humans and the environment.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816519637
Publisher:
University of Arizona Press
Publication date:
10/01/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
201,376
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1Lessons from a Prehistoric "Eden"3
2Attitudes toward the Environment15
3Concepts That Organize Our Thoughts35
4Animal Exploitation: The Prehistoric Loss of Habitat and Biodiversity53
5The Impact of Agrarian Systems81
6The Growth of World Urbanism127
7Forces That Grew with Society159
8The Past as Prologue195
Works Cited221
Index235

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Human Impact on Ancient Environments 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago