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Steps towards an ecology of landscape: The pedo-stratigraphy of anthropogenic dark earths

Arroyo-Kalin, M; (2009) Steps towards an ecology of landscape: The pedo-stratigraphy of anthropogenic dark earths. In: Woods, WI and Teixeira, WG and Lehmann, J and Steiner, C and WinklerPrins, A and Rebellato, L, (eds.) Amazonian Dark Earths: Wim Sombroek's Vision. (33 - 83). Springer Netherlands: Netherlands.

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Abstract

A posthumous festschrift to a bold mind is an apposite context to celebrate the role that research into pre-Columbian anthropogenic dark earths has played in a momentous paradigm shift in Amazonian scholarship. This shift- imprinted in the reciprocal intersections, synergies, and oppositions of a long history of intellectual contributions- calls for caution in addressing past and present environments exclusively as self-regulating and equilibrium-seeking systems to which individuals or cultures adapt or adapted to. Instead it encourages a consideration of the biotic and abiotic components of landscapes inhabited by human communities as historically contingent outcomes of niche-building, past and present. From an archaeological standpoint, it invites a sharpening of focus to behold' past environments' as open-ended and non-deterministic evolutionary trajectories of material transformation within which the emergent surrounding-worlds that have structured the lifeways of past human communities have been crafted step by step. Some of these steps are evident to the learned eye, others remain to be unveiled by future research, and yet others, it is argued below, can be ascertained in subtle material signatures that exist in anthropogenic dark earths.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Steps towards an ecology of landscape: The pedo-stratigraphy of anthropogenic dark earths
ISBN-13: 9781402090301
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9031-8_3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9031-8_3
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1336792
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