Historical Ecology of Amazonia

ANTH 3710-01

Summer Abroad Iyarina Ecuador 2018

 

Prof. William Balée, Instructor

 

Course Description

Interactions between local peoples and Amazonian landscapes from prehistory to the present. Amazonian landscapes as an analytic unit will be examined from the interdisciplinary perspective of historical ecology. Changes and development of forests and savannas since the arrival of human beings. Historical, ecological, cultural forces involved in biological and edaphic diversity in modern forests. Long-term effects of prehistoric and historic human occupations and manipulation of landscapes. Implications for conservation and development.

 

Course Requirements

 

journal (40%)

oral and written posting of daytime field findings on language, culture, environment (40%) [due in evenings] (40%)

exam on readings [retakable as p/f] 20%

 

 

Readings:

 


 

 

Week

 

Date(s)

Topic or Activity

reading

other assignment (evenings)

 

6/2/18

SAT

Arrive in Quito

6/3/18

SUN

1

TU

6/5/18  

 

--

 

 

W

6/6/18

--

 

 

TH

6/7/18

Introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon - Forest Hike

--

journal entry; discussion of field findings

2

F

6/8/ 18

competing theories of Amazon forest origins

Piperno 2015; Stahl 2015 (The Holocene); 

discussion; journal entry on reading

 

Sat

6/9

No class

 

 

 

Sun 

6/10

No class

 

 

 

Mon

6/11

Learn to identify 5 or 6 plant families

--

journal entry; discussion

 

Tu

6/12

historical ecology

Balee 2006

discussion

3

W

16/13

archaeology of the forest

Myers et al. 2003

journal; discussion

4

TH

6/14

on indigenous knowledge: what do they know, and when did they know it? 

Balee 2010a

(Diversity article)

journal; discussion

 

F

6/15

Short canoe trip into Misahualli

--

discussion

 

Sat

6/16

No class

 

 

 

Sun

6/17

No class

 

 

 

Mon

6/18

field trip to kitchen gardens

Denevan and McCann

discussion

 

Tu

6/19

field trip to 40 year old forest

Balee 2010b (Tipiti article)

journal; discussion

 

Wed

6/20

earthwork construction

Watling et al. 2015

journal; discussion

 

TH

6/21

anthropogenesis and language

Balee 2009 in C. Adams et al. (eds.)

paper on the origins of the cacao word; discussion

 

F

6/22

trip to the Yasuní National Park

 

 

 

Sat

6/23

guided exploration of Yasuni Park: biology and ecology

 

 

 

Sun

6/24

guided exploration of Yasuni Park: language and culture

 

 

 

Mon

6/25

return trip from Yasuní National Park

 

 

 

Tu

6/26

free day (to compensate for weekend classes)

 

 

 

W

6/27

freer day (to compensate for weekend classes)

 

 

 

TH

6/28

emic anthrpogenesis (indigenous  views of landscape transformation in the Amazon)

Swanson 2017 

finish journal entries; take retakable exam

 

F

6/29

wrap up lecture; free time

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