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Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies: A Handbook
     

Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies: A Handbook

by Bruce D. Smith (Editor)
 

The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies provides a comprehensive and in-depth documentation of how Native American societies met the challenges of adapting to the varied ecosystems of North America over the past 10,000 years. The contributors identify a number of recurrent themes and questions which have shaped debates regarding the nature

Overview

The Subsistence Economies of Indigenous North American Societies provides a comprehensive and in-depth documentation of how Native American societies met the challenges of adapting to the varied ecosystems of North America over the past 10,000 years. The contributors identify a number of recurrent themes and questions which have shaped debates regarding the nature of Native American interaction with and impact on their local environments throughout the Holocene. The volume features full ecosystem coverage of North America, detailing the use of wild plant and animal resources in each of eight broadly defined geographical regions. The independent domestication of eastern North American plants and the subsequent introduction of domesticated crops, first from Mexico and subsequently from Eurasia, are described in detail, as is the introduction of Eurasian domesticated livestock, and the role of the turkey, the dog, and tobacco in indigenous North American societies. Drawing from this rich analysis, the volume closes by considering the ways in which and the degree to which Native American societies actively shaped their natural environments.

Editorial Reviews

Peter H. Raven
A brilliant exposition of the varied relationships between indigenous North American peoples and their diverse environments that brings into clear focus these interactions, this collection of papers leads the reader far beyond the tired paradigms of the past to lay the foundation for important progress in the future. The many stages of domestication and the acceptance of other crops from outside the region demonstrate beautifully the opportunities and challenges of this fundamentally-important process, and the relationship between small, dispersed groups of hunter gatherers in its development over the past 10,000 years tells a story of great interest for all students of the continent and its nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935623014
Publisher:
Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Publication date:
04/16/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
628
Product dimensions:
8.95(w) x 11.41(h) x 1.73(d)

Meet the Author

Bruce D. Smith is curator and senior archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

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