This is an online event.
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Amazonia has a deep and complex history of human habitation marked by political diversity, ancient practices of environmental engineering, and long-distance networks of communication. As we have seen elsewhere in the world, this deep history is marked by cycles of political or economic consolidation and resource control and maximization, and periods of infrastructural collapse and settlement abandonment. In this lecture, I explore some of the major ancient and historic patterns of expansion and contraction of political-economic systems alongside an analysis of resource and land-use strategies. Building on recent findings about environmental shifts and my own ethno-archaeological research, I grapple with the relative successes of late pre-colonial and modern systems of exploitation and consider these in terms of contemporary risk-management and the future of tropical forests.