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Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Pre-Columbian Americas (Historical Ecology Series)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We often envision the New World before the arrival of the Europeans as a land of pristine natural beauty and undisturbed environments. However, David Lentz offers an alternative view by detailing the impact of native cultures on these ecosystems prior to their contact with Europeans. Drawing on a wide range of experts from the fields of paleoclimatology, historical ecology, paleontology, botany, geology, conservation science, and resource management, this book unlocks the secret of how the Western Hemisphere's indigenous inhabitants influenced and transformed their natural environment.

A rare combination of collaborators uncovers the changes that took place in North America, Mexico, Central America, the Andes, and Amazonia. Each section of the book has been comprehensively arranged so that a botanical description of the natural vegetation of the region is coupled with a set of case studies outlining local human influences. From modifications of vegetation, to changes in soil, wildlife, microclimate, hydrology, and the land surface itself, this collection addresses one of the great issues of our time: the human modification of the earth.

Review:

"The combination of articles and examples in [this] book is able to draw a picture of pre-columbians as integral and influential parts and components of the landscape. The volume brings together natural scientists, archaeologists, and cultural ecologists to investigate the interaction between natural systems and human intervention. Such a combination is rarely seen in this comprehensive manner." Martin Grosjean, Basic and Applied Ecology

Synopsis:

We often envision the New World before the arrival of the Europeans as a land of pristine natural beauty and undisturbed environments. However, David Lentz offers an alternative view by detailing the impact of native cultures on these ecosystems prior to their contact with Europeans. Drawing on a wide range of experts from the fields of paleoclimatology, historical ecology, paleontology, botany, geology, conservation science, and resource management, this book unlocks the secret of how the Western Hemisphere's indigenous inhabitants influenced and transformed their natural environment.

A rare combination of collaborators uncovers the changes that took place in North America, Mexico, Central America, the Andes, and Amazonia. Each section of the book has been comprehensively arranged so that a botanical description of the natural vegetation of the region is coupled with a set of case studies outlining local human influences. From modifications of vegetation, to changes in soil, wildlife, microclimate, hydrology, and the land surface itself, this collection addresses one of the great issues of our time: the human modification of the earth.

Synopsis:

Together with experts in a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences--including botany, geology, ecology, geography and archaeology--Lentz investigates the history and effects of human impact on the environment in the New World before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century. "An Imperfect Balance" offers an objective evaluation of "precontact era" land usage, demonstrating that native populations engaged in land management practices not entirely dissimilar to their European counterparts.

About the Author

David Lentz is director of the graduate studies program at The New York Botanical Garden. He is the author or coauthor of and contributor to more than fifty scholarly articles and books.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780231111577
Editor:
Lentz, David
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Editor:
Lentz, David
Author:
Lentz, David
Location:
New York
Subject:
America
Subject:
Ancient - General
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Human ecology
Subject:
Antiquities
Subject:
Indians
Subject:
Landscape changes
Subject:
America Antiquities.
Subject:
Indians -- Antiquities.
Subject:
Archaeology-General
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series:
Historical Ecology Series
Series Volume:
00-R12
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
788
Dimensions:
9.97x7.02x1.20 in. 2.20 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Pre-Columbian Americas (Historical Ecology Series) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$50.25 Backorder
Product details 788 pages Columbia University Press - English 9780231111577 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The combination of articles and examples in [this] book is able to draw a picture of pre-columbians as integral and influential parts and components of the landscape. The volume brings together natural scientists, archaeologists, and cultural ecologists to investigate the interaction between natural systems and human intervention. Such a combination is rarely seen in this comprehensive manner."
"Synopsis" by , We often envision the New World before the arrival of the Europeans as a land of pristine natural beauty and undisturbed environments. However, David Lentz offers an alternative view by detailing the impact of native cultures on these ecosystems prior to their contact with Europeans. Drawing on a wide range of experts from the fields of paleoclimatology, historical ecology, paleontology, botany, geology, conservation science, and resource management, this book unlocks the secret of how the Western Hemisphere's indigenous inhabitants influenced and transformed their natural environment.

A rare combination of collaborators uncovers the changes that took place in North America, Mexico, Central America, the Andes, and Amazonia. Each section of the book has been comprehensively arranged so that a botanical description of the natural vegetation of the region is coupled with a set of case studies outlining local human influences. From modifications of vegetation, to changes in soil, wildlife, microclimate, hydrology, and the land surface itself, this collection addresses one of the great issues of our time: the human modification of the earth.

"Synopsis" by , Together with experts in a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences--including botany, geology, ecology, geography and archaeology--Lentz investigates the history and effects of human impact on the environment in the New World before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century. "An Imperfect Balance" offers an objective evaluation of "precontact era" land usage, demonstrating that native populations engaged in land management practices not entirely dissimilar to their European counterparts.
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