Wintersemester 22/23: Paleoethnobotanical insights into human management of ancient Amazonia


Myrtle P. Shock
(Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará)

There is increasing evidence that the plants of today’s Amazonian rain forest are the product of ancient populations activities and management practices. Instead of widely scattered resources, many of the economically important tree species occur in groves. This hyperdominance of tree species, highlighted in papers led by ter-Steege and Levis, has added to questions that were posed by Balée in the research project of Historical Ecology. Thus, archaeological inquiry includes how the historicity of human management practices led to the forest as we know it today and the articulation between different types of plants in niches.

Recent decades have led us to a greater understanding of how varied the cultural and biological diversity of the Amazon is, and was, across disparate regions. This specificity discourages the building of general models and changes the directions of archaeological discussions that, in the 20th century, were focused on whether or not agriculture, and thus complexity, existed in the region.

The paleoethnobotanical data, direct evidence of plant use, that archaeologists can currently draw upon comes from far-flung corners of the Amazon and different time periods. As such, this talk and discussion will focus on a few windows into human management of ancient Amazonia, but we can not see the entire ‘landscape’. We will start at one of the oldest archaeological sites in the Amazon, Caverna da Pedra Pintada, briefly visit the southwestern Amazon, and conclude mere kilometers from where we stared in the current city of Santarém-PA, Brasil.

Der Vortrag findet am Montag, dem 12.12.2022 um 18 Uhr c.t. im Großen Übungsraum im 1. OG der Abteilung in der Oxfordstr. 15 statt. Wir bitten Sie, als Teilnehmende, während der Veranstaltung im Gebäude und Vorlesungssaal eine Maske zu tragen.

Weitere Informationen zu allen zukünftigen Veranstaltungen finden Sie auf unserer Website im Plan der Ringvorlesung. Für eine hybride Teilnahme an dem Vortrag melden Sie sich bitte einmalig bei an, dann lassen wir Ihnen den Zoom-Link für die Ringvorlesung zukommen.