Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA,  ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (oxfordre.com/environmentalscience) (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 June 2020

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Summary and Keywords

The tropical lowlands of South America were long thought of as a “counterfeit paradise,” a vast expanse of mostly pristine rainforests with poor soils for farming, limited protein resources, and environmental conditions inimical to the endogenous development of hierarchical human societies. These misconceptions derived largely from a fundamental misunderstanding of the unique characteristics of ancient and indigenous farming and environmental management in lowland South America, which are in turn closely related to the cultural baggage surrounding the term “agriculture.”

Archaeological and archaeobotanical discoveries made in the early 21st century have overturned these misconceptions and revealed the true nature of the ancient and traditional food production systems of lowland South America, which involve a complex combination of horticulture, agroforestry, and the management of non-domesticated or incipiently domesticated species in cultural forest landscapes. In this sense, lowland South America breaks the mould of the Old World “farming hypothesis” by revealing cultivation without domestication and domestication without agriculture, a syndrome that has been referred to as “anti-domestication”. These discoveries have contributed to a better understanding of the cultural history of South America, while also suggesting new paradigms of environmental management and food production for the future of this critical and threatened biome.

Keywords: agrobiodiversity, agroforestry, anthropogenic dark earth, Amazonia, domestication, food production, geoarchaeology, historical ecology, historical linguistics, horticulture

Introduction

There was no agriculture . . . in the Americas until the Europeans arrived with their production system, which originated in the fields of the Middle East.

(Clement et al., 2012, p. 17)

The diversity of food production systems found in pre-Columbian South America presents a challenge to Old World understandings of agriculture. The term “agriculture” can be used generically to refer to food production of all kinds, including animal husbandry. But in the archaeological literature on the origins of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent, the term refers more specifically to the intensive cropping of staple grains in heavily managed, single-species fields, or ager, a productive space indelibly associated with the etymology of the term (Leach, 1997). Agriculture in this sense [ager (field) and cultura (art of cultivation)] was absent in lowland South America, indeed throughout the Americas, until the European conquest (Clement et al., 2012). Food production in lowland South America was much more diverse, including both horticulture [hortus (garden), cultura] and arboriculture [arbor (tree) and cultura], though combinations of these types were more common than pure examples of one or the other. Horticulture conveys a form of more diversified food production, often vegetables and tubers, which takes place in the less regimented space of the garden, or hortus. Arboriculture can take place in house gardens and orchards, garden fallows, and mature secondary forest.

The single factor that most differentiates these production systems from agriculture is that both horticulture and arboriculture are concerned with managing individual plants, whereas in agriculture, it is entire plant populations that are managed. Moreover, indigenous management of anthropogenic forest landscapes as a form of food production in lowland South America represents the domestication, not only of individual plants or populations, but rather of entire landscapes, which contain domesticated as well as non-domesticated species. For these reasons, and despite the prominence of the term in the title of this article, the decision has been made to avoid the term “agriculture” throughout the rest of the article, preferring more neutral concepts such as “cultivation,” farming” and “food production” (see Rindos, 1984; Harris, 1996; Smith, 2001).

The monolithic concept of agriculture and its association with Old World models concerning the rise of ancient “civilizations” is precisely the basis of the many misconceptions about lowland South American cultural history this article hopes to correct. These misconceptions contributed to a misreading or outright disregard for the archaeological record: why excavate in a region where organic remains supposedly do not preserve, and where there were no complex, hierarchical state societies (i.e., “civilizations”) to begin with? In the standard evolutionary chronology, hunter-gatherers throughout the Fertile Crescent and elsewhere in Eurasia began experimenting with crop and animal domestication in the early Holocene. During the so-called Neolithic revolution, farmers invested increasingly (and irreversibly) in agricultural livelihoods, and as the saying goes, the rest is history. In the New World, and the South American lowlands in particular, the relationship between domestication, food production, and cultural development does not follow the Old World pattern. As Neves (2016) summed up the situation, “There is no Neolithic south of the Equator.”

Only in the late 20th century did a growing cadre of archaeologists, ethnobotanists, anthropologists, and environmental historians begin to uncover evidence in some parts of Amazonia of societies who modified their landscapes through farming and environmental management techniques seldom witnessed in the historical or ethnographic record. Ethnographic, archaeological, and ethnobotanical research also revealed the importance of many non-domesticated (or not fully domesticated) plant species to Amazonian and lowland South American livelihoods, a syndrome that has been referred to as “anti-domestication” (Lemes & Aparício, 2018; Aparício, 2019, p. 108; Carneiro da Cunha, 2019), challenging mainstream views on the necessary link between domestication, farming, and cultural development. Linguistic research has likewise revealed patterns of multiple, parallel linguistic expansions in lowland South America that challenge the prevailing view of the “farming-language dispersal hypothesis” explaining monodominant linguistic expansions elsewhere in the world.

Part One: “Counterfeit Paradise”

The conventional wisdom on lowland South American cultural and environmental history was summarized in Meggers’s (1971) book Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise. Meggers considered Amazonia to be a “counterfeit paradise” because, despite its lush forests and rich biodiversity, it contained relatively poor soils and dispersed protein resources. These environmental conditions supposedly limited food production potential, population density and political hierarchy of indigenous lowland South American peoples, especially in the interfluvial areas, from ancient times through to the present (Meggers, 1954). Lowland South American peoples, according to Meggers, settled away from the alluvial floodplains of the major rivers. They lived in relatively small, egalitarian societies with a semi-nomadic lifestyle and numerous cultural adaptations, such as witchcraft beliefs, endemic warfare and cultural controls on fertility and natality, in order to avoid excessive population growth that would outstrip the limited protein resources and low-productivity soils (Gross, 1975). Early reports by 17th-century explorers provided a few accounts of larger, sedentary, stratified societies along the margins of larger rivers. Some dismissed such accounts altogether as mere hyperbole by imaginative explorers eager to impress their kings, while others took them to be the exception that proved the rule: only along the major river floodplains, with abundant fish resources and rich, annually replenished alluvial soils, could Amazonian societies achieve the resource productivity required to develop more hierarchical kinds of society (Lathrap, 1970; Meggers, 1971). Even then, these floodplain societies developed only to the political level of “chiefdoms,” a rung below on the ladder of social evolution from the state-based “civilizations” found elsewhere on the continent and in the world.

According to this view, ancient lowland peoples, like those observed ethnographically, would not typically have developed sophisticated ceramic traditions or other art forms, nor left behind major constructions or other alterations in what appeared to be a rather pristine rainforest landscape. Meggers’s own archaeological studies from Marajó Island in the Amazon River estuary revealed a complex ceramic tradition with elaborate decorations and clear evidence of social hierarchy and craft specialization. Yet in her view, such advanced cultural innovations could not have been endogenous to lowland peoples, and hence must have resulted from cultural contact with Andean and Pacific coastal societies far to the west (Meggers, 1997). Pre-Columbian Amazonia was understood by Meggers, and the main stream of archaeologists, anthropologists and cultural ecologists for most of the second half of the 20th century, as a backwater to the social and political developments going on elsewhere on the continent, a “green Hell” incapable of supporting the hierarchical state societies found in the Andes and Mesoamerica.

Meggers’s view of South American subsistence patterns and cultural evolution closely followed the model laid out by Steward (1948) in the Handbook of South American Indians. Steward identified four general cultural areas for South America, which also comprised a scheme of economic and social complexity and cultural evolution. The “marginal tribes” consisted of hunter-gatherer bands with little or no reliance on cultivated crops; “tropical forest tribes” consisted of small-scale hunters, fishers, and horticulturalists, such as those observed ethnographically in the Amazonian lowlands; the “circum-Caribbean tribes” were organized into hierarchical political structures known as chiefdoms; but only the “Andean civilizations” in the highlands and coastal areas had sufficient food productivity to develop state-level societies. Because there was vanishingly little archaeological evidence available from lowland South America at the time, and since micro-botanical analyses and other techniques for directly identifying plant remains from archaeological contexts were not yet available, mid- to late-20th-century understandings of Pre-Columbian food production in the Amazonian lowlands were drawn by analogy from contemporary indigenous societies observed by ethnographers and explorers.

These “tropical forest tribes” were observed to practice shifting cultivation, known as swidden-fallow or “slash-and-burn” farming, by clearing and burning small openings in the forest for planting crops. Such clearings rarely exceeded a few hectares and were only cultivated for a few years before fertility declined and secondary growth from the surrounding forests took over the swiddens. These grew back rather quickly into secondary forests that could only be cut and burned for cultivation once again after a long fallow period. All of these factors—low soil fertility, long fallow periods, dispersed protein resources—were thought to underlie the cultural and ecological adaptations observed among tropical forest tribes in the present, and supposedly limited the evolution of sociocultural complexity in these regions since pre-colonial times.

Given Steward’s classification scheme and Meggers’s theories on the role of resource limitations on cultural evolution in the South American lowlands, numerous ecological anthropologists throughout the 1970s and 1980s carried out quantitative and ethnographic studies of Amazonian farming, hunting and ethnobotanical and ethnozoological knowledge (Behrens, 1986; Berlin & Berlin, 1977; Boster, 1984; Carneiro, 1974, 1978; Carneiro, 1970; Chagnon & Hames, 1979; Gross, 1975; Hames, 1980; Hill & Hawkes, 1983; Johnson, 1983; Descola, 1986; Posey & Balée, 1989; Vickers, 1976; Vickers & Plowman, 1984).

Despite the relatively small areas opened for cultivation by Amazonian peoples, their food production repertoire includes a large number of crops, as well as an extraordinary diversity of agricultural varieties of major staple crops, especially manioc, with hundreds of varieties documented in different regions across lowland South America (Boster, 1984; Emperaire & Eloy, 2008; Heckler & Zent, 2008; Salick, Cellinese, & Knapp, 1997). The two main groups of varieties are “bitter manioc,” containing toxic amounts of cyanide that requires processing before consumption (Figure 1), and “sweet manioc” that can be eaten after simple boiling. Bitter manioc is found especially in the central and eastern part of the Amazon and is associated with an extensive repertoire of vegetable fibre basketry used for detoxification (see Shepard et al., 2004), while sweet manioc is associated more with western Amazonia.

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 1. Bitter manioc is harvested from a swidden garden on the upper Rio Negro (top left) and brought back to the household for processing (top right). Cyanide-containing bitter manioc is peeled (bottom left), grated, pressed, and sieved to remove water-soluble toxins using an extensive technology of baskets made of Ischnosiphon (Marantaceae) and other plant fibers (see Shepard et al., 2004). Different weaves and specific basketry types are associated with different steps of the process (bottom right), notably the tipiti (center of photo), a cylindrical basket that squeezes out liquids as it elongates.

Photos: G. H. Shepard Jr.

Viewing Amazonia as a cultural hinterland, Meggers assumed that domesticated plants, like the elaborate archaeological ceramics found in some parts of Amazonia, represented imports obtained from cultural exchange with the Andes or Mesoamerica. Plant domestication and the emergence of sedentary societies has been considered the key to understanding the evolution and demographic expansion of human societies in Europe, Africa and Asia, from hunter-gatherer bands, passing through the Neolithic revolution, leading ultimately to the stratified state societies commonly referred to as civilizations (Bellwood, 2005; Childe, 1957). This focus on farming as a key to understanding cultural evolution and demographic expansion is a hallmark of 20th-century studies of indigenous lowland South America, beginning with Max Schmidt’s (1917) classic work on the Arawak peoples.

The so-called farming hypothesis of language dispersal, combining historical linguistics and archaeological data (Bellwood & Renfrew, 2002) influenced models for understanding the dispersal of peoples, languages, domesticated crops, and ceramic styles in lowland South America (Lathrap, 1970; Heckenberger, Neves, & Peterson, 1998; Neves, 2011). Focusing on the contrast between root crop horticulture and more intensive seed-based agriculture, Anna Roosevelt hypothesized that it was the arrival and intensification of maize production from Mesoamerica that permitted the growth of chiefdoms in some parts of the lower Amazon and Orinoco beginning in the 1st century ad, while manioc horticulturalists elsewhere retained the smaller, less complex “tropical forest tribe” formation (Roosevelt, 1980).

Lathrap (1970) was the first archaeologist to contest the persistent view of the Amazonian lowlands as a cultural backwater in South America. Based on his own excavations in Western Amazonia and interpretations of literature data on ceramic traditions, centres of crop cultivation and cultural and linguistic patterns, he proposed that central Amazonia was in fact an ancient centre of cultural innovations including ceramics and crop domestication. For Lathrap (1973), these innovations would have provided the motor for significant demographic expansion of the “tropical forest tribes” beginning some 4,000 years ago. Lathrap was a pioneer in associating the distribution of widespread language families, such as Tupian and Arawakan, with such ancient processes of demographic expansion. Inverting the conventional wisdom on the direction of cultural influences from the Andes to Amazonia, Lathrap saw in the rich, lowland tropical iconography found at Chavín de Huantar—an important formative archaeological site for Andean civilizations dating to about 3,500 years ago—evidence of ancient cultural influences flowing from Amazonia up into the Andes (Lathrap, 1971). Lathrap pointed out the differences between the richer, more productive and accessible floodplain environments as opposed to the relatively poorer soils of inaccessible interfluvial areas as being a major determining factor influencing cultural history in Amazonia. Floodplain environments boasted both more fertile, continually renewed sedimentary soils, as well as higher concentrations of aquatic protein sources, providing an endogenous subsistence base for the stratified societies observed archaeologically in the lower Amazon, and witnessed by some early explorers. These hierarchical societies would have developed of their own accord without cultural influences from the Andes.

Denevan (1992) was the first to question the analogy made between ancient farming practices and those observed among modern indigenous peoples in lowland South America. Most contemporary indigenous peoples observed by ethnographers during the 20th century, even the most remote, had access to steel axes through extensive trading networks. It was the steel axe, not some enduring legacy of “tropical forest” culture, that shaped the shifting, long-fallow swidden farming systems of contemporary lowland peoples. Prior to the arrival of steel axes, ancient indigenous peoples using stone axes would have had to practice a very different kind of cultivation. Unable to cut down large, hard trees in high forest like contemporary peoples do with steel axes, ancient peoples would have had to invest in more intensive efforts to create semi-permanent clearings using stone axes and fire in small clearings created by tree falls or somewhat larger clearings created by wind squalls (Denevan, 1992, 1998, 2001, 2006).

Anthropological studies of indigenous farming and hunting likewise brought into question the long-held view regarding environmental limitations on lowland South American cultural evolution. Carneiro’s (1974) study of Kuikuru farming along the upper Xingu River found no evidence for soil fertility as a significant limiting factor for food production in Amazonia, since indigenous peoples produced significant surplus food while generally under-utilising the full potential of their gardens. Since farming per se no longer seemed to provide a significant limitation on indigenous cultural evolution, a group of researchers inspired by Lathrap’s suggestions regarding protein sources in interfluvial versus floodplain areas began investigating the possible role of animal protein for differential cultural development in Amazonia (Gross, 1975; Werner, 1983). The key observation is that staple food products such as manioc and other tubers in Amazonia provide very little protein; hence, the hypothesis was that protein for human populations would have to come principally from animal sources, both terrestrial and aquatic.

Ultimately, the so-called protein debate turned out to be largely spurious, since protein from aquatic animals, terrestrial game and even vegetable sources turned out to be far more abundant than originally estimated (Beckerman, 1979). The ongoing toll of introduced diseases and aggressive European conquest, more than inherent environmental limitations, has shaped the social formations and subsistence strategies of indigenous populations that persisted through modern times (Beckerman, 1979). Moreover, recent archaeology has demonstrated far more densely settled societies in prehistoric times than those observed in the ethnographic record (Denevan, 1976; Heckenberger et al., 2008; Heckenberger & Neves, 2009).

Perhaps the main reason that early-to-mid-20th-century archaeologists, anthropologists, and ethnobotanists were unable to identify the abundance of food production in Amazonia is that they were looking for agriculture. Moraes (2015) called this view “agricultural determinism.” Archaeologists working in the Americas as well as in Eurasia have questioned the dualistic epistemology inherent in the presumed divide between foraging and farming societies (Bogucki, 1995), calling greater attention to the “middle ground” of food production involving both domesticated and non-domesticated species (Smith, 2001). Domestication, once seen as the hallmark of agricultural societies, came to be understood with more nuance, generating a proliferation of sub-types and gradations (Rindos, 1984; Harris, 1996; Clement et al., 2012).

Food production in Amazonia starts in the homegarden around the long house or village, expands into small, intensively managed swidden gardens nearby, then extends further into agroforests and finally into forests managed for numerous food and other useful species (Lins et al., 2015; Clement & Cassino, 2018; Denevan, 2001; Stahl, 2015). Importantly, the landscape around a village is a mosaic of swiddens, small agroforests and sections of managed forests across the landscape, including clearings opened after tree falls or wind squalls that can be exploited for planting (Denevan, 2006). This continuum of food production within a landscape mosaic can be viewed as a continuum of more intensive cultivation in homegardens and nearby swiddens, to agroforestry management in surrounding mixed swidden-forest areas, to more diffuse management of anthropogenic forest landscapes. But it can also be understood as a continuum from more domesticated crops in homegardens and nearby swiddens to semi-domesticated crops in agroforests to incipiently domesticated crops and wild species in managed forests. Only more intensive farming with domesticated crops in home gardens and swiddens is easily identified by archaeologists (Stahl, 2015), while agroforests and managed forests require other academic specialties and methods, including floristic inventories by botanists and ecologists, and interviews by anthropologists and ethnobotanists, to reveal their human legacy (Clement & Cassino, 2018; Levis et al., 2017; Lins et al., 2015; Moraes et al., 2019; Shepard & Ramirez, 2011).

Complementing such resource-based approaches, social anthropological research among Amazonian peoples has focused on how relationships among people, plants and landscapes in Amazonia derive from indigenous cosmological and ontological concepts. Kinship categories such as consanguinity and affinity can be used to understand discourse and practices surrounding cultivated plants (Descola, 1986; Mendes dos Santos, 2016). Some indigenous Amazonian peoples understand the forest to be a kind of homegarden managed by various non-human agents or “owners”, who must be consulted when using these spaces or the resources they harbour. Thus, the garden-forest continuum involves not only different kinds of resources and human actions, but also depends on the intentions and agency of non-human actors as well (Daly & Shepard, 2019; Descola, 2016; Oliveira, 2016).

Part Two: “The Lost City of Z”

[Michael] Heckenberger said that everywhere in the Kuikuru village ‘you can see the past in the present.’ I began to picture the flutists and dancers in one of the old plazas . . . crossing moats and passing through tall palisade fences, moving from one village to the next along wide boulevards and bridges and causeways . . . For a moment, I could see this vanished world as if it were right in front of me. Z.

(Grann, 2009, p. 277)

As archaeological surveys and long-term excavations were carried out in various regions of Amazonia beginning around the turn of the 21st century, a growing body of evidence revealed that some parts of the Amazon basin and Guianas supported pre-Columbian populations living at much higher densities and in significantly more hierarchical societies than those observed ethnographically (Denevan, 1976; Heckenberger & Neves, 2009; Heckenberger et al., 2008; Hemming, 2008). Archaeologists have found evidence for large, sedentary settlements that practiced intensive food production, invested in major earthworks and modified their environments both directly and indirectly. Yet within a couple of centuries after the arrival of Europeans, such lowland civilizations were all but erased, surviving only in the accounts of the earliest European explorers, and in the enduring legacy they have left in Amazonian landscapes (Arroyo-Kalin, 2008; Balée, 1989; Shepard & Ramirez, 2011).

Ancient peoples of the upper Xingu River created a complex network of causeways connecting multiple villages according to a highly symmetrical “galactic” pattern. Vast earthworks involved the cooperation of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, which would only be possible with a stratified social system, echoes of which of are still visible in the hereditary chiefdoms of modern Xinguano peoples (Heckenberger, 2005). Earthworks, still visible to this day, provided transportation routes, public and ritual spaces, as well as aquaculture ponds and farming land. Working closely with the Kuikuru people, archaeologist Michael Heckenberger has mapped these extensive earthworks, and suggests the “galactic clusters” of ancient Xinguano settlements consisted of garden cities that may have attained the population size of ancient Greek polities (Heckenberger et al., 2008).

Deforestation in the Brazilian state of Acre in the early 2000s revealed hundreds of previously unknown geometrical earthworks, called geoglyphs (Schaan, 2016), including ring villages connected by linear roads (Watling et al., 2017). The societies who built these structures were never encountered by European colonists, and the function, origin, and mode of construction of these earthworks is as yet unknown (Virtanen & Saunaluoma, 2017). A series of mounds along the Guyanese coast, once thought to be natural formations, turned out, upon archaeological investigation, to be the result of a complex system of raised bed farming that had already fallen into disuse before European colonists arrived (Rostain, 2008, 2016). Ancient peoples of the Llanos de Mojos in Bolivia also created extensive earthworks involved in the irrigation of this vast flatlands (Erickson, 2006), as well as monumental mounds occupied continuously for centuries (Prümmers & Jaimes Betancourt, 2014), and yet there is no ethnographic or historical record of how these people lived.

These examples could be compared with field-based agricultural systems found in other parts of the world. However, in the case of the Bolivian Llanos, micro-botanical analysis suggests “inter-field variation and that the fields were not exclusively mono-cropped” (Whitney et al., 2014, p. 238). Studies of the ancient farming mounds in French Guyana likewise found a great diversity of plant phytoliths. Despite the clear importance of maize cultivation, a number of other plants, including palm trees, fruit trees, technological, medicinal, and psychoactive plants, were also found on the same raised beds (Iriarte & Dickau, 2012). Moreover, these raised beds also appear to have involved the management of as many as 35 genera of aquatic fauna (Prestes-Carneiro, Béarez, Shock, Prümers, & Jaimes Betancourt, 2019). In the case of the ancient mound-building peoples of Marajó Island, Schaan (2008) suggested that aquatic fauna management would have been the main intention of human settlements in this seasonally flooded area.

The emergence of phytolith analysis and other more sophisticated methods for identifying plant remains in tropical soils have allowed researchers to investigate the origins and evolution of lowland South American food production much more directly than was previously possible (Watling et al., 2018). One of the biggest surprises has been a relative paucity of evidence for the predominant role of manioc as a staple food in ancient Amazonian diets (Fausto & Neves, 2019). Manioc cultivation, it would seem, became a much more dominant staple food only in colonial times, perhaps due to the introduction of steel axes and the innovation of slash-and-burn farming, as pointed out by Denevan (1992). Ancient Amazonian food production appears to have included a much more diverse array of plants, including fully domesticated, incipiently domesticated, and semi-domesticated species, as well as non-domesticated species managed in agroforestry systems (Clement, 1999; Clement, Borém, & Lopes, 2012).

Clement (1999) documented 138 species of domesticated food crops cultivated by Amazonian peoples at the time of first European contact, mostly native species (see Tables 13) but also including many species from other parts of South America and Mesoamerica. Among the most significant crops are manioc (Manihot esculenta), maize (Zea mays), sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), yam (Dioscorea trifida), cocoyam (Xanthosoma saggitifolium), peach palm (Bactris gasipaes), cacao (Theobroma cacao), chili peppers (Capsicum spp.), squash (Cucurbita spp.), pineapple (Ananas comosus), papaya (Carica papaya), peanut (Arachis hypogea), avocado (Persea americana), cashew (Anacardium occidentale), guava (Psidium guajava), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), calabash (Crescentia cujete), annatto (Bixa orellana), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and many others.

Table 1. Probably Domesticated Crops Native to Greater Amazonia (Amazon River Basin and Adjacent Guiana Shield) and Grown in Amazonia at the Time of European Conquest

Species

Family

Probable Origin

Uses

Annona muricate

Anonaceae

N S America

fruit

Rollinia mucosa

W Amazonia

fruit

Xanthosomabrasiliensis

Araceae

N S America

vegetable

X. sagittifolium

N S America

root

Bixaorellana

Bixaceae

SW Amazonia

colorant

Ananascomosus

Bromeliaceae

NE Amazonia

fruit

A. erectifolius

Amazonia

fiber

Neoglazioviavariegata

N S America

fiber

Canna edulis

Cannaceae

Andes/W Amaz

root

Eupatorium ayapana

Compositae

Amazonia

condiment

Spilanthesacmella

Amazonia

condiment

S. oleracea

Amazonia

condiment

Cyclantherapedata

Cucubitaceae

N S America

vegetable

Cyperus sp.

Cyperaceae

Amazonia

condiment

Dioscoreatrifida

Dioscoreaceae

N S America

root

Erythroxylum coca

Erythroxylaceae

SW Amazonia

stimulant

Manihot esculenta

Euphorbiaceae

SW Amazonia

root

Poraqueibaparaensis

Icacinaceae

E Amazonia

fruit,oil

P. sericea

W Amazonia

fruit,oil

Canavaliaensiformis

Leg. Papilionoidae

N S America

seed

Pachyrhizustuberosus

W Amazonia

root

Calatheaallouia

Marantaceae

Amazonia

root

Marantaarundinacea

N S America

root

Bactrisgasipaes

Palmae

SW Amazonia

fruit

Oryzaglumaepatula

Poaceae

SW Amazonia

seed

Genipaamericana

Rubiaceae

N S America

colorant

Paulliniacupana

Sapindaceae

C Amazonia

stimulant

Pouteriacaimito

Sapotaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Brugmansia insignis

Solanaceae

W Amazonia

drug

B. suaveolens

W Amazonia

drug

Capsicum baccatum

SW Amazonia

condiment

C. chinense

N Amazonia

condiment

Nicotiana tabacum

SW Amazonia

stimulant

Solanum sessiliflorum

W Amazonia

fruit

Cissusgongyloides

Vitaceae

Amazonia

vegetable

Note: Clement (1999).

Table 2. Probably Semi-Domesticated Crops Native to Greater Amazonia (Amazon River Basin and Adjacent Guiana Shield) and Grown in Amazonia at the Time of European Conquest

Species

Family

Probable Origin

Uses

Anacardium occidentale

Anacardiaceae

NE Brazil

fruit, nut

Spondias mombin

N S America

fruit

Annona montana

Anonaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Macoubea witotorum

Apocynaceae

W Amazonia

fruit juice

Thevetia peruvianum

C Andes

poison

Ilex guayusa

Aquifoliaceae

NW Amazonia

stimulant

Mansoa alliacea

Bignoniaceae

W Amazonia

condiment

Quararibea cordata

Bombacaceae

W Amazonia

fruit

Caryocar brasiliense

Caryocaraceae

S Amazonia

fruit

Couepia subcordata

Chrysobalanaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Clibadium asperum

Compositae

N S America

poison

Dioscorea docecaneura

Dioscoreaceae

Amazonia

root

Phyllanthus acuminatus

Euphorbiaceae

N S America

poison

Mammea americana

Guttiferae

N S America

fruit

Platonia insignis

E Amazonia

fruit,seed?

Heliconia hirsutum

Heliconiaceae

W Amazonia

root

Cassia leiandra

Leg. Caesalpinoidae

Amazonia

fruit

Anadenanthera peregrina

Leg. Mimosoidae

N S America

drug

Inga cinnamomea

Amazonia

fruit

Inga edulis

W Amazonia

fruit

I. feuillei

W Amazonia

fruit

I. macrophylla

W Amazonia

fruit

Lonchocarpus utilis

Leg. Papilionoidae

Amazonia

poison

Banisteriopsis caapi

Malpigiaceae

W Amazonia

drug

B. inebrians

W Amazonia

drug

Bunchosia armeniaca

Amazonia

fruit

Maranta ruiziana

Marantaceae

W Amazonia

root

Pourouma cecropiifolia

Moraceae

W Amazonia

fruit

Eugenia stipitate

Myrtaceae

W Amazonia

fruit

Psidium guajava

NE Brazil

fruit

Astrocaryum aculeatum

Palmae

W Amazonia

fruit

Talinum triangulare

Portulacaceae

N S America

vegetable

Borojoa sorbilis

Rubiaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Paullinia yoco

Sapindaceae

W Amazonia

stimulant

Lucuma obovata

Sapotaceae

Central Andes

fruit

Pouteria macrophylla

Amazonia

fruit

P. macrocarpa

Amazonia

fruit

Theobroma bicolor

Sterculiaceae

W Amazonia

fruit, seed

T. cacao

W Amazonia

stimulant

Note: updated from Clement (1999).

Table 3. Some Species With Probably Incipiently Domesticated Populations Native to Greater Amazonia (Amazon River Basin and Adjacent Guiana Shield) and Grown in Amazonia at the Time of European Conquest

Species

Family

Probable Origin

Uses

Coumautilis

Apocynaceae

Amazonia

fruit,latex

Hancornia speciosa

NE Brazil

fruit,latex

Caryocar glabrum

Caryocaraceae

W Amazonia

nut

C. nuciferum

N S America

nut

C. villosum

C Amazonia

fruit

Chrysobalanus icaco

Chrysobalanaceae

N S America

fruit

Couepia bracteosa

C Amazonia

fruit

C. edulis

Amazonia

nut

C. longipendula

Amazonia

nut

Caryodendron orinocense

Euphorbiaceae

W Amazonia

nut

Hevea spp. (various)

Amazonia

seed, latex

Leersia hexandra

Graminae

E Amazonia

seed

Rheedia brasiliensis

Guttiferae

Amazonia

fruit

R. macrophylla

Amazonia

fruit

Bertholletia excelsa

Lecythidaceae

E Amazonia

seed

Lecythis pisonis

Amazonia

seed

Grias neubertii

W Amazonia

fruit

G. peruviana

W Amazonia

fruit

Hymenaea courbaril

Leg. Caesalpinioidae

Amazonia

starchy fruit

Campsiandra comosa

Leg. Mimosoidae

NW Amazonia

fruit

Inga spp. (numerous)

Amazonia

fruit

Lonchocarpus nicou

Leg. Papilionoidae

Amazonia

poison

L. urucu

Amazonia

poison

Eugenia uniflora

Myrtaceae

S America

fruit

Psidium acutangulum

Amazonia

fruit

P. guineensis

N S America

fruit

Acrocomia aculeata

Palmae

E Amazonia

oily fruit

Astrocaryum chambira

W Amazonia

fiber

A. murumuru

Amazonia

oily fruit

Attalea phalerata

S Amazonia

seed

Elaeis oleifera

N S America

oily fruit

Euterpe oleracea

E Amazonia

oily fruit

E. precatoria

W Amazonia

oily fruit

Mauritia flexuosa

N S America

oily fruit

Maximiliana maripa

E Amazonia

oily fruit

Oenocarpus bacaba

C Amazonia

oily fruit

O. bataua

W Amazonia

oily fruit

O. distichus

E Amazonia

oily fruit

Phytelephas macrocarpa

W Amazonia

seed

Borojoa edulis

Rubiaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Talisia esculenta

Amazonia

fruit

Manilkara huberi

Sapotaceae

Amazonia

fruit,latex

Pouteria spp. (numerous)

Amazonia

fruit

Sterculia speciosa

Sterculiaceae

Amazonia

fruit

Theobroma grandiflorum

E Amazonia

fruit

T. speciosum

Amazonia

fruit

T. subincanum

Amazonia

fruit

Erisma japura

Vochysiaceae

NW Amazonia

fruit

Note: Updated from Clement (1999) and from Levis et al. (2017).

Some of the most ancient evidence for crop domestication comes from the upper Madeira River in the southwest Amazon, where the cultivation and domestication of guava (Psidium guajava) and ariá or lerén (Calathea allouia) has been documented by 9,000 years bp. Manioc (Manihot esculenta), beans (Phaseolus sp.), squash (Cucurbita sp.) and maize (Zea mays) were cultivated in this region later, around 6,000 years bp (Watling et al., 2018). Among the most surprising 21st-century discoveries about lowland food production systems in Amazonia was clear evidence for an independent domestication of rice (Oriza sp.) beginning about 4,000 years ago, also along the upper Madeira River (Hilbert et al., 2017). This remarkable discovery overturns everything we thought we knew about environmental limitations on domestication and farming in Amazonia, while warning us not to give too much credence to dichotomies and evolutionary schemes born in Eurasia, such as that between seed and root crops and between agriculture and horticulture. Moreover, the archaeological record on the upper Madeira shows that domesticated rice varieties disappeared from cultivation just as Europeans began arriving on the continent. Thus, once again, it was the cataclysm of European conquest, more than any inherent environmental limitations, that shaped the social, political, and economic formations of postcolonial indigenous peoples.

Archaeobotanical studies have also provided paradoxical evidence of a hiatus of some five to six millennia between the onset of domestication in the South American lowlands some 9,000 years ago, and the emergence of more intensive, sedentary farming in the 1st millennium ad, and only in some regions (Clement et al., 2015; Heckenberger, Neves, & Petersen, 1998; Lima et al., 2006). Indeed, the South American example challenges the very concept of domestication as relates to food production, since the most widespread domesticated crops in the New World in 1492 were maize (used as much for fermented beverages as a food staple) and tobacco, not even a “food” plant (Figure 2).

To this day, many traditional indigenous peoples of lowland South America maintain a mixed foraging-horticultural lifestyle. In some cases, especially as a result of extreme violence or dislocation due to colonization and conquest, farming peoples have given up food production altogether and adopted an entirely nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle (Balee, 2000; Shepard, 2012). This shows a kind of reversibility or “plasticity” in their relationship with farming and food production that is unheard of in the Old World.

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 2. Tobacco (top right) is among the oldest and most widely spread cultigens of the Americas, quintessential to religious, medical and shamanistic practices. Indigenous peoples of South America have consumed tobacco, from ancient to modern times, in a great diversity of forms and modes of administration (see Shepard, 2015; Wilbert, 1987) including pungent snuffs (top right), bitter-tasting quids (bottom right) and cured leaves for smoking in pipes or cigars (bottom left).

Photos: G. H. Shepard Jr.

Anthropogenic Dark Earths or “Terra preta de índio”

The intensification of the settlement of the Amazon by distinct cultural groups observed around the 1st millennium ad caused significant impacts to the environment and shaped the landscapes in lasting ways. One dramatic evidence of these alterations is anthropogenic dark earth (ADE). These fertile soils have anthropogenic origins and are considered cultural markers of the past (Figure 3). Among various landscape alterations (including mounds, raised fields, geoglyphs, etc.) made by the past inhabitants of the Amazon Basin, ADE is one of the most widespread (Erickson, 2006; Kern et al., 2004). The oldest known ADEs are located in the southwestern Amazon, dating c. 6,000 bp—the same area as the suggested domestication centre of many important crops, such as manioc (Levis et al., 2018). However, ADEs only became more widespread around 500 bce (Neves et al., 2003). Also known as Terras Pretas de Índio (TPIs) as a reference to the role of past indigenous societies in forming these soils, ADEs are generally described as “deep and well-drained soils with textures ranging from sandy to clay-like and A-horizons thicker and darker than adjacent soils, with higher values for pH, organic matter (OM), organic carbon (OC), available phosphorus, exchangeable calcium and magnesium, cation exchange capacity, and base saturation; they also present higher levels of zinc and manganese than underlying horizons” (Kern et al., 2017).

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 3. Rich, coffee-black, and highly fertile, anthropogenic terra preta soils usually contain numerous pot sherds and contrast sharply in color, texture and fertility with surrounding natural soils in archaeological sites.

Photos: G. H. Shepard Jr.

Areas of ADE range in size from a few hundred square meters to hundreds of hectares. They are thought to have been formed by domestic activities in the central areas of habitation, including disposal of organic waste, burning, and home garden cultivation. While organic waste provides soil nutrients, charcoal from various types of burning (hearths, vegetation management fires, etc.) raises the pH of typically acidic Amazonian soils. Particularly important to the formation of ADEs are microscopic fragments of fired ceramics, the magnetism of which serves to capture charged cations (Arroyo-Kalin, 2008). Lighter, brownish soils referred to as terra mulata or terra marrom (“brown earth,” in contrast to the Portuguese term terra preta, “black earth”) have been interpreted as farming zones (Kern et al., 2017). Although the intentionality and agricultural purposes of ADE formation are still debated, they are clearly a legacy of past management and as such represent an intricate process of landscaping (or landscape creation) associated with habits of dwelling, farming, and living of past Amazonians. As a form of intensely fertile soil enrichment, the phenomenon of ADE overturns the long-debated theories regarding environmental limitations to cultural development in Amazonia. Because patches of ADEs are mainly located on bluffs near rivers and streams, their use does not depend on a seasonal drop in river levels, also rendering obsolete the late-20th-century hypotheses attributing greater farming productivity and cultural development in floodplain regions to the seasonal management of rich alluvial soils. Moreover, ADEs were also identified along naturally fertile alluvial settings in places that do not need further soil improvement for cultivation. It is also worth noting the frequency of reoccupation of both ancient and modern human settlements on or near ADE sites, which remain important areas for the farming and agroforestry systems of non-indigenous riverine populations through the present (Junqueira, Shepard & Clement, 2010; Lins et al., 2015).

Ceramics, Food Production and the “Farming Hypothesis”

Ceramics are an important element for understanding the history of populations and plants in the Amazon. Archaeologists have explored the uses of pottery in various cultural contexts, including how these technologies fit into food production and consumption, symbology, and religion, as well as in the cultural system as a whole (Lima et al., 2016). Ceramic technology is also a proxy for analyses of local ecology and human–environment interactions, for example through studies of raw materials and manufacturing technologies, use marks, food remains, and so on (Lima, 2015). Thus, ceramics help us understand the intricacies of food production and consumption in past human societies.

The long-standing assumption of a direct, positive correlation between ceramic technology, sedentarism, and crop domestication is no longer supported by the archaeological evidence in the South American lowlands. The known initial centres of ceramic production in the Americas are located far from the supposed centres of domestication of plants and the emergence of stratified societies (Neves, 2016, p. 32). Contrary to Meggers’ theory, the oldest ceramics in the Americas are all in lowland contexts, and not in the highlands: Valdivia, with dates of more than 5,500 years, on the Ecuadorian coast; San Jacinto and Puerto Hormiga, on the lower Magdalena River, in the Colombian Caribbean (Oyuela-Caycedo & Bonzani, 2005; Reichel-Dolmatoff, 1965); Mina, associated with shell mounds (sambaquis) along the Amazonian estuary (Simões, 1981; Silveira & Schaan, 2005); and Taperinha, a shell mound on the Lower Amazon dating to c. 7,000 years ago (Roosevelt, 1995).

Discussions involving sedentarism, cultivation, and the innovation and adoption of ceramic technology fed a long-standing debate about the “formative” stage in the Neotropics, for example, whether this technology spread from a unique centre of origin (Meggers, 1997) or from multiple centres (Hoopes, 1994). Oyuela-Caycedo and Bozani (2005) have proposed that some of the oldest ceramics in Colombia, the San Jacinto complex, were more related to social identity and interaction than to food production. This lack of a clear correlation between the domestication of plants and the beginning of ceramic production provides a further critique of conventional notions about the relationship between food production, technological and social innovations and the “agricultural model” of human history (Neves, 2016).

Archaeologists can use ceramics as a proxy for understanding the cultural and linguistic affiliations of ancient peoples (Figure 4), although such an approach is open to discussion (Lima et al., 2016). Traditionally, agriculture and other technological innovations are seen as prime motors in generating demographic expansions that spread linguistic and cultural traditions across wide regions (Renfrew, 1987). In all of Europe, for example, most languages spoken today (excluding those brought by recent immigration) belong to the Indo-European family, with the exception of Basque, a linguistic isolated in Spain, and Finnish, Hungarian, and Estonian, which are Finno-Ugric languages. According to this perspective, the dominance of the Indo-European language family would be explained by a process of demic diffusion of farmers starting from Anatolia at the beginning of the 4th millennium bc. Likewise, the predominance of the Bantu languages in central Africa is explained by the association of ironworking with the advance of agriculture into forest areas, fuelling a rapid and broad expansion of this linguistic group, expelling or assimilating other groups originally found in the range. Similar explanations have been made for the patterns of Austronesian language expansion in Polynesia (Kirch, 2000). In all of these cases, the adoption of agriculture and the resulting population growth is thought to lead to the demographic and geographic expansion of certain groups speaking genealogically related languages from an initially localized homeland (Ammerman & Cavalli-Sforza, 1984; Renfrew, 1987).

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 4. Anthropomorphic funerary urns of the Marajó tradition (left) and long-stemmed vases with zoomorphic decorations of the Santarem tradition (right) are only a few examples of the artistic sophistication and tremendous cultural diversity manifest in pre-Columbian ceramics of the Amazon.

Photographed by Nigel Smith (left) and G. H. Shepard Jr. (right) at the Goeldi Museum archaeological collections, Belém, Pará, Brazil.

In lowland South America we find a much different situation, with multiple, sometimes almost parallel expansions of important languages families (see also Figures 7 and 8). The Arawakan language family, extending from southwestern Brazil and Peru to the Antilles and perhaps into southern Florida in Pre-Columbian times represents the most extensive geographical extension of any language family in the Americas, much larger than the extent of Quechua languages under the Inca Empire (Aikhenvald, 2012). The Arawakan expansion has been interpreted by some 20th century scholars as a demographic expansion driven by manioc horticulture (Lathrap, 1970; Schmidt, 1917). At about the same time as the Arawakan expansion, Tupi-speaking peoples appear to have spread from southwestern Amazonia to the lower Amazon and from there all the way to southern Brazil (Heckenberger et al., 1998). Carib-speaking peoples appear to have expanded from the Guianas to the upper Xingu, while the nomadic Gê peoples also underwent a significant process of expansion through the Cerrado region of central Brazil to eastern Amazonia without any of the major cultivated plants associated with neighbouring peoples (Wüst & Barreto, 1999).

Thus, unlike other parts of the world, in Amazonia we find multiple linguistic expansions that are not necessarily associated with the spread of any particular farming strategy (Neves, 2011). These multiple expansions appear to have taken place without excluding other linguistic groups from the landscape. For example, the Guapore region in Western Amazonia is considered to be the homeland for the Tupi language family expansion, and yet it contains perhaps the largest concentration of linguistically isolated languages in the world (Crevels & van der Voort, 2008). Certainly, postcolonial processes of decimation and territorial disruption play an overwhelming role in determining the historical distributions of different languages and language families in the present. And yet the very diversity of Amazonian food production techniques, and the diversity of available food sources and environments seems to have contributed to a higher resilience of sociocultural diversity despite significant processes of cultural-linguistic expansion in the past. Indeed, the lack of any single, predominant economic strategy or staple crop may be one of the underlying reasons for the significant degree of language diversity found in lowland South America.

Domesticated Crops and Landscapes

In 1999, Charles Clement identified 138 domesticated plant species that were cultivated or managed in Amazonia at the time of European conquest (Tables 13). Of these, 83 are native to Amazonia and the others were introduced from elsewhere in the Americas (Clement, 1999). Since the time of that publication, another five native tree and palm species were added to the list (Levis et al., 2017). Tables 13 show more incipient domesticates (41) than semi-domesticates (28) or domesticates (20) from Amazonia. This result seems at first surprising: fully domesticated plants represent only about one fifth of the repertoire of native Amazonian plants involved in food production. Within the Amazonian context, this result can be explained by the fact that different human societies have different food preferences, different necessities, and find different populations of useful species in their landscapes, each with varying genetic composition and abundance. If the population meets their needs and preferences but is not abundant, it will be selected and propagated, perhaps finally becoming domesticated. If it meets their needs and preferences but is abundant, it will still be selected and managed but not necessarily propagated with much frequency, if at all. Those populations that are occasionally propagated would become only incipiently domesticated, while those that are managed without propagation are considered incidentally domesticated (Rindos, 1984, pp. 154–158).

It follows that not all species go through all the phases along the domestication continuum, simply because of human preferences and needs and natural affordances. Tree species, such as Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), pequi (Caryocar brasilense), edible Sapotaceae species and others with large fruits, may have originally adapted to dispersal by megafauna species, but as these became extinct, humans became their primary dispersers (Guix, 2005). In the Amazon, where trees comprise more than two thirds of cultivated crops, a long history of megafaunal behaviour prior to the human settlement of the Americas certainly had an important role in selecting for traits, such as fleshiness, which were later favourable for human consumption without the need of further manipulation (Neves, 2016).

Domestication of some Amazonian crops began in the early Holocene, or perhaps even earlier, while others were domesticated more recently (Clement et al., 2010). Prior to the advent of phytolith analysis and other direct methods for identifying plant remains, students of Amazonian crop domestication looked to the Pacific coast of Peru , where the dry climate allows for excellent preservation of botanical remains, for evidence on domestication of lowland crops. Manioc (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), and chili peppers (Capsicum chinense or C. baccatum) were already present 8,000 years ago in this distant region (Pearsall, 1992), so we can infer that domestication started much earlier in Amazonia itself (Clement et al., 2010).

As archaeobotanists have applied new techniques and developed reference collections for Amazonia, it has become possible to make direct inferences about plant species in the archaeological record using phytolith recovery, anthracology, residue analysis, and other macroscopic and microscopic remains. Studies done in the upper Madeira River basin reveal manioc, squash (Cucurbita sp.), and common bean (Phaseolus sp.) under cultivation in the early Holocene (Watling et al., 2018), preparing the way for their dispersal across the Andes 8,000 years ago. Watling et al. (2018) also found that guava (Psidium sp.) and piquiá (Caryocar sp.) were abundant at the site, suggesting their management in homegardens (guava) and nearby agroforests and managed forests (piquiá). At the same time along the Caquetá River in Colombia, patauá (Oenocarpus bataua) appeared in archaeological sites and quickly increased in abundance over time, suggesting its management in agroforests and managed forests (Mora Camargo, 2003). Cacao (Theobroma cacao), the source of chocolate, was long thought to have been domesticated in Mexico. However genetic research has found a centre of genetic diversity in the upper Amazon, and the oldest archaeobotanical remains of cacao yet documented were found in the Ecuadorian Amazon dating to around 5,300 years ago (Zarrillo et al., 2018). These examples provide early dates for both plant domestication and landscape domestication in various parts of Amazonia.

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 5. Approximate known or hypothetical (indicated by “?”) locations of the origin of domestication of some native Amazonian crops (updated from Clement et al., 2010).

A majority of native Amazonian crops were first domesticated in the periphery of Amazonia in the early Holocene, and few originated in the centre of the basin (Figure 5; Clement et al., 2010). This may be because peripheral ecosystems are more open than ecosystems in the centre, either because they are more seasonal (e.g., the upper Madeira River basin; Clement et al., 2016; Piperno, 2011) or because they are more dynamic (e.g., the western periphery along the Andean foothills; Quesada et al., 2012). It also may be because the human groups who settled in Amazonia during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene preferred living along small rivers, typical of the headwater regions and tributaries of the major rivers. This trend is clear in the analysis of Levis et al. (2017), where domesticated forests coincide with the origins of domestication of numerous crops across southwestern and northwestern Amazonia. However, perhaps because of the persistence of wild genotypes in adjacent forest areas, full domestication proceeded only once incipiently domesticated populations were transported to regions, especially in the central Amazon, distant from the original wild populations. Two major centres for crop diversity, with the highest preponderance of cultivated varieties of different crop species, are found along the main course of the Amazon River in modern Brazil, and in western Amazonia in modern Peru (Figure 6). Other regions and minor diversity centres, are found to the north, south, and east of the main axis of diversity (see Figure 6).

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 6. Centers of crop genetic diversity in Amazonia (updated from Clement et al., 2010). Centers of diversity are (1) Western Amazonia and (2) Central Amazonia; Minor centers of diversity are (3) Marajó Island, (4) Llanos de Mojos, and (5) Llanos del Orinoco; Regions of diversity are (6) Solimões River, (7) upper Negro River, and (8) Madeira River. See Clement (1999) for definitions. Areas without recognized centers of diversity have not been studied enough to allow designation as a concentration of diversity.

The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is an especially prominent example of landscape domestication in Amazonia. A colossal tree reaching 50 meters in height (Figure 7), it occurs in discrete groves long considered to be natural formations, and its seeds represent the most important non-timber forest product in Amazonia. Its peculiarly inefficient dispersal strategy in hard, non-dehiscent fruits (Figure 7) and discontinuous distribution (Figure 8 and Figure 9) have been considered evidence of anthropogenic origins. Ecological, phytogeographic, genetic, linguistic, and archaeological data reinforce the hypothesis that ancient Amazonian peoples played a role in establishing this emblematic and economically important rainforest landscape (Shepard & Ramirez, 2011). The Brazil nut seems to be partly fire resistant and grows in much greater densities in human-managed environments than natural forests (Scoles & Gribel, 2011). Genetic studies support a rapid and recent irradiation of Brazil nut populations across the basin (Coelho et al., 2017; Shepard & Ramirez, 2011), a result not expected from natural dispersal mechanisms and hence almost certainly involving humans. Moreover, there seems to be a remarkable match between areas of higher density of Brazil nut stands and evidence of denser human occupations in the past. Historical linguistic analysis of indigenous terms for Brazil nut show only two predominant language families (Arawakan, Cariban) with words for Brazil nut that reconstruct to the proto-language (Figure 8), while many other language families show a preponderance of loan words or analogy terms (e.g., “large peanut”) that suggest a relatively recent introduction to the lexicon, especially in marginal regions of the plant’s distribution (Figure 8 and Figure 9).

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 7. The Brazil nut (Bertholletiaexcelsa) is one of the largest trees of the Amazon basin (left). The delicious oil-rich seeds (or “Brazil nuts,”) are an important part of forest peoples’ livelihoods throughout its vast distribution. The extremely hard, indehiscent seed case (right) results in inefficient natural dispersal by the agouti, which scatter-hoards Brazil nuts to an average distance of only a few meters from the parent tree.

Photos: G. H. Shepard Jr.

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 8. Indigenous terms for Brazil nut in the Amazon, showing approximate geographical location of each language, color coded for language family.

Source: Shepard and Ramirez (2011).

Ancient and Traditional Agriculture in South America: Tropical Lowlands

Figure 9. Preliminary historical/geographical analysis of indigenous terminology for Brazil nut, showing reconstructed proto-terms where available and possible directions of borrowing.

Source: Shepard and Ramirez (2011).

The close relationship between plant and landscape domestication in Amazonia helps explain why it took so long for archaeologists, anthropologists, and ethnobotanists looking for agriculture to see the abundance of food produced in horticultural farming systems and forest management systems in Amazonia: in short, they were not able to see the forest for the (absent) fields. Amazonia is famous for its mega biodiversity, with an estimated 16,000 tree species and over 40,000 plant species in all; however, only a small number of species (227), referred to as “hyperdominant” by ter Steege et al. (2013), represent the majority of trees in a given hectare anywhere across the region. Twenty per cent of these hyperdominants contain populations domesticated to some degree, often associated with archaeological sites (Levis et al., 2017). Thus, what in the 21st century appear to be mature, “pristine” forests may in fact have been managed by ancient humans. Although such domesticated and semi-domesticated tree species tend to be more abundant in the vicinity of larger river basins, where presumably ancient populations would have been more concentrated (Clement, 1999; Levis et al., 2012), there is also considerable evidence for landscape domestication even in more remote interfluvial regions, distant from large rivers (Levis et al., 2017; Franco-Moraes et al., 2019).

Enough information is available for six of these hyperdominant, food-producing trees to allow estimates of how much protein they produce each year across Amazonia (Table 4; Clement, 2019). Today there are approximately 60 million head of cattle in Brazilian Amazonian pastures, which are an important source of protein for modern Brazilian society and income for the export economy (Nepstad et al., 2014). A mere six of these hyperdominant species produce twice as much protein in extant Amazonian forests as there is in the vast, deforested pasturelands dedicated to beef monoculture, suggesting that protein was easily available to ancient Native Amazonians in their agroforests. These highly productive managed forests remain available as food production solutions for the contemporary world’s protein needs, however perverse economic incentives subsidizing deforestation for cattle ranching would have to be changed, and more funds would need to be dedicated to researching, developing and marketing these rainforest foods. The recent explosion of the international market in açaí (Euterpe spp.) is only one example of the global economic and food-producing potential of this, and dozens of other Amazonian crops.

Table 4. Conservative Estimates of Food (Fruit Pulp or Seed) and Protein Yield of Six Hyperdominant Species of the Amazonian Flora by Order of Abundance, and Its Equivalent in Number of 500 kg Steers (Which Have 42.5 kg of Protein)

Order

Species

Abundance

Pulp (t)

Seed (t)

Protein (t)

Steers (M)

1

Euterpe precatoria

5.4 x 109

3.2 x 107

6.5 x 105

15.3

7

Oenocarpus bataua

3.6 x 109

2.3 x 107

7.6 x 105

17.8

8

Euterpe oleracea

3.6 x 109

2.2 x 107

4.3 x 105

10.1

22

Mauritia flexuosa

1.5 x 109

1.5 x 107

2.3 x 105

5.3

24

Theobroma cacao

1.4 x 109

2.0 x 106

5.9 x 104

1.4

178

Bertholletia excelsa

4.0 x 108

4.0 x 107

6.0 x 106

141.2

Note: In all cases, the lowest yield estimates, percentage of useful part and protein in the fresh useful part were used: t = metric tons; M = million.

Cultivation Without Domestication

The observed continuum of food production systems in lowland South America, from home gardens to swiddens to agroforests and managed forest landscapes, raises questions about domestication itself, since the reality observed in Amazonia does not fit the mould first identified in the Middle East and transplanted to Europe and, later, North America, where the majority of archaeologists, anthropologists, and ethnobotanists were trained until recently. The Oxford English Dictionary helps clear up any misunderstandings: to domesticate is (1) to make, or settle as, a member of a household; to cause to be at home; to naturalize; (2) to make to be or to feel “at home”; to familiarize. The word in English is derived from Latin: domesticäre—to dwell in a house, to accustom. Until fairly recently in human history, a home was not just a house, but its associated gardens, swiddens, agroforests, and managed forests.

When Darwin (1859) used domestication as a metaphor to present his ideas on evolution, he emphasized human selection, both conscious and, especially, unconscious. He commented that humans select and then accumulate; in other words, they bring their selections home, either into the garden, the swidden, or the agroforest. This action of bringing home requires propagation. The important implication is that humans both select and propagate their selections. This combination is all that is necessary to start the process of domestication of plant populations. Thus, the landscape around the home is domesticated as part of a continuum. In this sense, domestication is a concept that includes the selection and propagation of specific populations of plants, as well as the landscape as a whole. These processes, combinations and interactions extend outward from the domus across multiple continuums through the landscape mosaic around the village and into apparently “natural” forested areas where food production proceeds by the domestication of landscapes rather than of plants themselves.

In addition to hunting, fishing, and farming at different scales, human societies have universally engaged in so-called gathering of forest products as a significant part of subsistence. Gathering is typically understood as being a somewhat passive process of removing naturally occurring fruits and other food sources from forests based on seasonal availability. This type of food production has been considered to be more “primitive” and less elaborate than cultivation. And yet ethnobiological and anthropological research reveals gathering to be a bioindustry requiring similar levels of knowledge and technical sophistication as cultivation (Zent, 2002). Without even considering the role of species or landscape domestication that is sometimes involved, food production of forest resources includes the elimination of toxic components, the manufacture of vegetable salt, the extraction of starch or gum, the production of flour, cakes, and fermented beverages, and the development of storage technologies.

Palm trees are especially important to lowland South America livelihoods, including babaçu (the popular Brazilian Portuguese name of several species of Orbignya and Attalea), pupunha (Bactris gasipaes), açaí (Euterpe precatoria and E. oleracea), buriti (Mauritia flexuosa), tucumã (Astrocaryum aculeatum), murumuru (Astrocaryum murumuru), patauá (Oenocarpus bataua) and bacaba (Oenocarpus bacaba and O. distichus). Flour and starch were also obtained from large pods (legumes), such as the faveira-da-várzea (Eperua leucantha), uacu (Monopteryx uacu) and the cunuri (Hevea spruceana). Various nuts are also important, such as Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), Acioalongi pendula, Acioa edulis, as well fruit pulps including umari (Poraqueiba sericea), uchi (Endopleura uchi), pajurá (Couepia bracteosa) and japura (Erisma japura). Many such palms and other important fruits and nuts are under some degree of domestication (see Tables 13).

One purported storage technique of such vegetable biomass is known as “Indian bread” (pão de índio), said to consist of a ball of dough prepared from pulp, starch, or oils extracted from fruits, nuts, roots, or tubers of one or more species. These Indian breads are said to have been buried in clean soil and shaded forest, near hunting, fishing, or gathering camps or along trails and waterways, as well as inside houses or house yards for later consumption. Indigenous groups throughout Amazonia find such buried masses and attribute them to the storage practices of past peoples. However, a collection of such clumps understood to be pão de índio by indigenous inhabitants in Acre turned out to be a particular kind of subterranean polypore fungus, Polyporus indigenus (Santos et al., 2014), first described in the Amazon (Araujo Aguiar & de Sousa, 1981). The fungus itself may be edible depending upon stage of development and preparation, and the relationship between this fungus and the folklore surrounding “Indian bread” is still not clear.

In addition to gathering of available forest resources, many groups practice different forms of “discreet cultivation” in homegardens around the residence or in small natural or man-made clearings in nearby forests. Plants cultivated in this regime include genipa (Genipa americana) and annatto (Bixa orellana), both used in body painting; tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for the production of snuffs, quids, cigars, pipe tobacco, and tobacco juice (Shepard, 2015; Wilbert, 1987); coca or ipadu (Erythroxylum coca.), for the manufacture of narcotic beverages and pastes; Guadua spp. bamboos for the manufacture of arrows; and pepper (Capsicum spp.), used as a condiment (Mendes dos Santos, 2016) and numerous cultural uses. Thus, 21st century historical ecology and archaeology have revealed lowland Amazonia to be a place not of scarcity leading to low cultural development, but rather of abundance of resources from along a continuum of domesticated and less domesticated spaces, providing so much food sovereignty that many peoples felt no need to enslave themselves to cultivated plants and a sedentary agricultural existence (Rival, 2002).

Among the wild tubers traditionally managed by forest peoples in Amazonia, the mairá potato (Casimirella rupestris) stands out for its prodigious yield. Occurring in interfluvial terra firme environments, the root can weigh more than 200 kg. Much like the case for bitter manioc, the mairá potato must be detoxified by water leaching in order to extract starch. Richard Spruce first collected and identified mairá in 1849 while doing research among the Tapuyas (mestizo Indians) on the lower Rio Negro. According to Spruce, the Tapuyas knew it by the name maniaca-açu (“great manioc”) and used it in much the same way, detoxifying it to make flour, starch, and cakes. Indeed, it appears that in some regions, notably the Purus (Mendes dos Santos, 2016), mairá potato predated manioc cultivation, such that the contemporary technology so closely associated with manioc detoxification and processing may in fact have been first used for mairá potato and only later extended to manioc. Large-scale manioc plantations and flour production became an important economic activity on the expanding colonial frontier, supplanting previous food production regimes based on a much more diverse range of forest and homegarden plants. The “manioc civilization,” long assumed by archaeologists to be the subsistence basis of the larger Amazonian chiefdoms, may in fact be a more recent, even postcolonial phenomenon. Recent analysis of starch grains from Pre-Columbian food production tools revealed vanishingly small numbers of manioc starch grains when compared with other as yet unidentified tubers (Van den Bel, 2015).

Conclusion

While researching his book on the notorious Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett and his ill-fated quest to find the mythical “Lost City of Z,” journalist David Grann (2009) visited a Kuikuru village on the upper Xingu River in the company of archaeologist Michael Heckenberger. With Heckenberger’s expert guidance, Grann was able to distinguish the vestiges of ancient causeways, dikes, roads, and other earthworks that were built by ancient Xinguano peoples, leaving an indelible but (until the early 21st century) mostly ignored legacy in the landscape. From Lope de Aguirre in the 16th century to Fawcett in the 20th, European adventurers combed the Amazon in a vain and often fatal search for a mythical city of gold, known variably as Paititi, El Dorado, or in Fawcett’s feverish imagination, “Z.” But because they were searching for a “city,” envisioned according to a European model of monumental architecture in stonework or masonry, amateur explorers and professional archaeologists through the late 20th century proved incapable of seeing the more subtle, endogenous forms of monumentalism that were hidden in plain sight: earthworks, mounds, geoglyphs, anthropogenic soils, managed forests, domesticated landscapes. The concluding paragraphs of Grann’s book suggest that the Lost City of Z was there all along, in the villages and forests of the Kuikuru Indians.

The same principle applies to 20th-century anthropologists, cultural ecologists, and archaeologists in their attempts to characterize the history of lowland South American agriculture. Rather than seeing the diverse and sometimes discreet food production strategies of ancient and modern indigenous peoples for what they were, these researchers attempted to categorize it according to what it was not: namely, agriculture—understood according to the Old World models provided by the Fertile Crescent and the Neolithic Revolution. For this reason, the Amazonian lowlands, considered to have poor soils, limited protein resources, and low human carrying capacity, were assumed to be a backwater of human cultural development in South America.

In the first decades of the 21st century, new understandings about the history of lowland South American food production and environmental management emerged as researchers began collaborating across diverse fields including archaeology, anthropology, ethnohistory, ethnobotany and archaeobotany, tropical ecology, soil science, and linguistics. These perspectives have come together in what is known as historical ecology, an interdisciplinary field “concerned with comprehending temporal and spatial dimensions in the relationships of human societies to local environments and the cumulative global effects of these relationships” (Balée, 2006, p. 75). Historical ecology moves beyond the environmental determinism found in mid-20th-century “cultural ecology,” looking instead at the environment as a dynamic space that human societies interact with, impact, and are impacted by. This dynamic, co-evolutionary, historical approach to human–environment interactions in lowland South America has fundamentally changed our understandings of the ancient and traditional of this region and their relationships with the landscape through time. The Amazon is no longer viewed as a sparsely populated, pristine wilderness, but rather an anthropogenic landscape that humans have been domesticating to varying degrees for millennia, especially for purposes of food production (Heckenberger et al., 2008; Heckenberger et al., 2007; Mann, 2000; Roosevelt, 1989).

Archaeology, ethnobotany, historical ecology, and related disciplines provide not only a window into the past but also suggest models for the future of sustainable food production in the South American lowlands: models that could prove less destructive than the agribusiness enterprises that have devastated huge tracts of once-standing forests, contaminated rivers, and upset regional and even global climate regimes (Lovejoy & Nobre, 2018). Lowland Amazonian peoples managed to increase the productivity of soils and standing forests for human consumption, domesticating landscapes without upsetting major ecological processes or overly depleting biodiversity (but see Shepard et al., 2012). A mere six species of hyperdominant trees in Amazonia produce twice as much protein in standing forests as all the cattle in current Amazonian pasturelands (see Table 4). Moreover, indigenous reserves in the Brazilian Amazon have proven to be more effective than strictly protected, uninhabited parks at preventing deforestation and forest fires (Nepstad et al., 2006), direct evidence of the compatibility of indigenous food production systems with large-scale biodiversity conservation. Researchers in Brazil have sought to replicate the biochemical processes involved in producing archaeological anthropogenic dark earths in an experimental setting, contributing to more sustainable soil management for modern farmers (Kern et al., 2017).

For millennia, lowland South American societies have demonstrated an intense coexistence between cultural and biological diversity, between the human-inhabited landscape and the natural world. Amazonian myths, cosmologies and shamanic concepts appear to echo the rainforest ecosystem (Reichel-Dolmatoff, 1976; Århem, 1996), subverting and in some cases inverting Western notions about the relationship between nature and culture (Descola, 1994; Viveiros de Castro, 2002) or between body and mind (Shepard, 2018). These ideologies are manifest in patterns of food production, environmental management, political hierarchy, and cultural development that are very different from those found in the Old World, confounding European missionaries, adventurers, and scientific investigators for centuries. Searching for the origins of agriculture in lowland South America as if it were the Fertile Crescent, 20th-century archaeologists failed to look at the earthworks, anthropogenic soils, and domesticated forest landscapes that were there all along. The “Lost City of Z” was not really lost; rather, it was never a city to begin with.

Acknowledgments

The ideas that led to this chapter were formed largely during an interdisciplinary course in “Domestication of the Amazon” offered by Gilton Mendes dos Santos, Charles R. Clement, Claide de Paula Moraes, Glenn H. Shepard Jr., and Ana Carla Bruno at the postgraduate program in social anthropology (PPGAS) at the Federal University of Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil in 2017. We thank our respective institutions, National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), Manaus, the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), Manaus, the Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA), Santarém, and Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Belém for this opportunity. We thank the Goeldi Museum for the opportunity to photograph their archaeological collections and Nigel Smith for sharing his photography. We also thank Peter Bogucki for inviting us to participate in this volume, and for providing inspiration and support to author Glenn Shepard Jr. since early in his career.

Further Reading

Balée, W. (2006). The research program of historical ecology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35, 75–98.Find this resource:

Balée, W., & Erickson, C. L. (Eds.). (2006). Time and complexity in historical ecology: Studies in the Neotropical lowlands New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R. (1999). 1492 and the loss of Amazonian crop genetic resources. I. The relation between domestication and human population decline. Economic Botany, 53(2), 188.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., & Cassino, M. F. (2018). Landscape domestication and archaeology. In C. Smith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of global archaeology (pp. 1–8). New York, NY: Springer.Find this resource:

Daly, L., & Shepard, G. H. J. (2019). Magic darts and messenger molecules: Toward a phytoethnography of human-plant engagements in Amazonia. Anthropology Today, 35(2), 13–17.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (2001). Cultivated landscapes of Native Amazonia and the Andes. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Descola, P. (1994). In the society of nature: A native ecology in Amazonia. Cambridge, U.K.: University of Cambridge Press.Find this resource:

Fausto, C., & Neves, E. G. (2019). Was there ever a Neolithic in the Neotropics? Plant familiarisation and biodiversity in the Amazon. Antiquity, 92(366), 1604–1618.Find this resource:

Grann, D. (2009). The Lost City of Z: A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon. New York, NY: Doubleday.Find this resource:

Lathrap, D. W. (1970). The Upper Amazon. New York, NY: Praeger.Find this resource:

Franco-Moraes J., Baniwa, A. F. M. B., Costa, F. R. C., Lima, H. P., Clement, C. R., & Shepard, G. H., Jr. (2019). Historical landscape domestication in ancestral forests with nutrient-poor soils in northwestern Amazonia. Forest Ecology and Management, 446, 317–330.Find this resource:

Posey, D. A., & Balée, W. (Eds.). (1989). Resource management in Amazonia: Indigenous and folk strategies. New York: New York Botanical Gardens.Find this resource:

Rostain, S. (2016). Islands in the rainforest: Landscape management in pre-Columbian Amazonia. New York, NY: Routledge.Find this resource:

References

Aikhenvald, A. Y. (2012). Languages of the Amazon: A bird’s-eye view. In A. Y. Aikhenvald (Ed.) Languages of the Amazon (pp. 1–67). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Ammerman, A. J., & Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. (1984). The Neolithic transition and the genetics of populations in Europe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Find this resource:

Aparício, M. (2019). A planta da raiva. Timbó e envenenamento nos Suruwaha do Purus. In B. C. Labate & S. D. Goulart (Eds.), O Uso das Plantas Psicoativas nas Américas (pp. 107–124). São Paulo: Gramma/NEIP.Find this resource:

Araujo Aguiar, I. de J., & de Sousa, M. A. (1981). Polyporus indigenus I. Araujo & M. A. Sousa, nova espécie da Amazônia. Acta Amazônica, 11(3), 449–455.Find this resource:

Århem, K. (1996). The cosmic food web: Human-nature relatedness in the northwest Amazon. In P. Descola & G. Pálsson (Eds.) Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives (pp. 185–204). London and New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Arroyo-Kalin, M. (2008). Steps towards an ecology of landscape: A geoarchaeological approach to the study of anthropogenic dark earths in the central Amazon region, Brazil. Dept. Archeology. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.Find this resource:

Balee, W. (2000). Antiquity of traditional ethnobiological knowledge in Amazonia: The Tupi-Guarani family and time. Ethnohistory, 47(2), 399.Find this resource:

Balée, W. (1989). The culture of Amazonian forests. In D. A. Posey & W. Balée (Eds.), Resource management in Amazonia: Indigenous and folk strategies (Vol. 7, pp. 1–21). New York: New York Botanical Gardens.Find this resource:

Beckerman, S. (1979). The abundance of protein in the Amazon: A reply to Gross. American Anthropologist, 81(3), 533–560.Find this resource:

Behrens, C. A. (1986). Shipibo food categorization and preference: Relationships between indigenous and Western dietary concepts. American Anthropologist, 88, 647–658.Find this resource:

Bellwood, P. (2005). First farmers: The origins of agricultural society. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell.Find this resource:

Bellwood, P., & Renfrew, C. (Eds.). (2002). Examining the farming/language dispersal hypothesis. Cambridge, U.K.: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.Find this resource:

Berlin, B., & Berlin, E. A. (1977). Ethnobiology, subsistence, and nutrition in a tropical forest society: The Aguaruna Jívaro, studies in Aguaruna Jívaro ethnobiology (Vol. report no.). Berkeley: Behavior Research Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley.Find this resource:

Bogucki, P. (1995). Prelude to agriculture in north-central Europe. In D. Campana, (Ed.), Before farming: Hunter-gatherer society and subsistence (pp. 105–116). MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archeology, Supplement to Volume 12. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology.Find this resource:

Boster, J. S. (1984). Classification, cultivation, and selection of Aguaruna cultivars of Manihot esculenta (Euphorbiaceae). Advances in Economic Botany, 1, 34–47.Find this resource:

Carneiro, R. (1974). Slash and burn cultivation among the Kwikuru and its implications for cultural development in the Amazon basin. In P. Lyon (Ed.), Native South Americans: Ethnology of the least known continent. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.Find this resource:

Carneiro, R. (1978). The knowledge and use of rainforest trees by the Kuikuru Indians of central Brazil. In R. I. Ford (Ed.), The nature and status of Ethnobotany (Vol. 67, pp. 201–216). Ann Arbor: Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan.Find this resource:

Carneiro, R. L. (1970). The transition from hunting to horticulture in the Amazon basin. In Proceedings, VIIIth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (Tokyo, 1968) (Vol. 3, pp. 244–248). Tokyo: Science Council of Japan.Find this resource:

Carneiro da Cunha, M. (2019). Antidomestication in the Amazon: Swidden and its foes. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 9(1), 126–136.Find this resource:

Chagnon, N., & Hames, R. B. (1979). Protein deficiency and tribal warfare in Amazonia: New data. Science, 203, 910–913.Find this resource:

Childe, V. G. (1957). The dawn of European civilization. London, U.K.: Routledge Kegan Paul.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R. (1999). 1492 and the loss of Amazonian crop genetic resources I. The relation between domestication and human population decline. Economic Botany, 53(2), 188.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R. (2019). Da domesticação da floresta ao subdesenvolvimento da Amazônia. In G. Mendes dos Santos (Ed.), Grupo de Estudos Estratégicos Amazônicos, Caderno de Debates (Vol. 14, pp. 11–52). Manaus, Brazil: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., Borém, A., & Lopes, M. T. G. (2012). From plant domestication to breeding. In A. Borém, M. T. G. Lopes, C. R. Clement, & H. Noda (Eds.), Domestication and breeding: Amazonian species (pp. 11–38). Viçosa, MG: Editora da Univ. Fed. Viçosa.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., & Cassino, M. F. (2018). Landscape domestication and archaeology. In C. Smith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of global archaeology (pp. 1–8). New York, NY: Springer.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., Cristo-Araújo, M., Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge, G., Alves Pereira, A., &Picanço-Rodrigues, D. (2010). Origin and domestication of native Amazonian crops. Diversity, 2(1), 72–106.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., Denevan, W. M., Heckenberger, M. J., Junqueira, A. B., Neves, E. G., Teixeira, W. G., & Woods, W. I. (2015). The domestication of Amazonia before European conquest. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 282(1812), 20150813.Find this resource:

Clement, C. R., Picanço Rodrigues, D., Alves Pereira, A., Mühlen, G. S., Cristo Araújo, M., Moreira, P. A., . . . Reis, V. M. (2016). Crop domestication in the upper Madeira River basin. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas, 11(1), 193–205.Find this resource:

Coelho, L. M., Gomes, L. M. T., Alves, C. E., Rafael, P., Moacir, P., & Costa Neto, P. de Q. (2017). Genetic diversity in populations of Brazil nut. Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology, 17(4), 382–389.Find this resource:

Crevels, M., & van der Voort, H. (2008). The Guaporé-Mamoré region as a linguistic area. From Linguistic Areas to Areal Linguistics, 90, 151–179.Find this resource:

Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of the favoured races in the struggle for life. London, U.K.: John Murray.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (1976). The native population of the Americas in 1492. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (1992). Stone vs metal axes: The ambiguity of shifting cultivation in prehistoric Amazonia. Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society, 20(1–2), 153–165.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (1998). Comments on prehistoric agriculture in Amazonia. Culture & Agriculture, 20(2–3), 54–59.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (2001). Cultivated landscapes of Native Amazonia and the Andes. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Denevan, W. M. (2006). Pre-European forest cultivation in Amazonia. In W. Balée & C. L. Erickson (Eds.), Time and complexity in historical ecology: Studies in the Neotropical lowlands (pp. 153–164). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Descola, P. (1986). La nature domestique: Simbolisme et praxis dans l’ecologie des Achuar. Paris, France: Maison des Sciences de L’Homme.Find this resource:

Descola, P. (1994). In the society of nature: A native ecology in Amazonia. Cambridge, U.K.: University of Cambridge Press.Find this resource:

Descola, P. (2016, October). “Landscape as Transfiguration.” Edward Westermarck Memorial Lecture. Suomen Antropologi, 41(1), 3–13.Find this resource:

Emperaire, L., & Eloy, L. (2008). A cidade, um foco de diversidade agrícola no Rio Negro (Amazonas, Brasil) Boletim Do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Ciências Humanas, 3, 195–211.Find this resource:

Erickson, C. L. (2006). The domesticated landscapes of the Bolivian Amazon. In W. Balée & C. L. Erickson (Eds.), Time and complexity in historical ecology (pp. 235–278). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Fausto, C., & Neves, E. G. (2019). Was there ever a Neolithic in the Neotropics? Plant familiarisation and biodiversity in the Amazon. Antiquity, 92(366), 1604–1618.Find this resource:

Grann, D. (2009). The lost city of Z: A tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon. New York, NY: Doubleday.Find this resource:

Gross, D. R. (1975). Protein capture and cultural development in the Amazon basin. American Anthropologist, 77(3), 526–549.Find this resource:

Guix, J. C. (2005). Evidence of old anthropic effects in forests at the confluence of the Caurés and Negro Rivers—NW Amazonia: The role of Indians and Caboclos. Grupo de Estudos Ecologicos, São Paulo, Série de Documentos, 8(1), 1–27.Find this resource:

Hames, R. B. (1980). Resource depletion and hunting zone rotation among the Ye’kwana and Yanomamo of Amazonas, Venezuela. In R. B. Hames (Ed.), Working papers on South American Indians, (No. 2): Studies in hunting and fishing in the Neotropics (pp. 31–66). Bennington, VT: Bennington College Press.Find this resource:

Harris, D., ed. (1996). The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Find this resource:

Heckenberger, M. J. (2005). Ecology of power: Culture, place, and personhood in the southern Amazon AD 1000–2000. London, U.K.: Routledge.Find this resource:

Heckenberger, M. J., Russell, J. C., Toney, J. R., & Schmidt, M. J. (2007). The legacy of cultural landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon: implications for biodiversity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 362, 197–208.Find this resource:

Heckenberger, M. J., & Neves, E. G. (2009). Amazonian archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 38, 251–266.Find this resource:

Heckenberger, M. J., Neves, E. G., & Peterson, J. (1998). De onde surgem os modelos? As origens e expansões Tupi na Amazônia Central. Revista de Antropologia, 41(1), 69–96.Find this resource:

Heckenberger, M. J., Russell, J. C., Fausto, C., Toney, J. R., Schmidt, M. J., Pereira, E., . . . Kuikuro, A. (2008). Pre-Columbian urbanism, anthropogenic landscapes, and the future of the Amazon. Science, 321, 1214–1217.Find this resource:

Heckler, S. L., & Zent, S. (2008). Piaroa manioc varietals: Hyperdiversity or Social Currency? Human Ecology, 36, 679–697.Find this resource:

Hemming, J. (2008). Tree of rivers: The story of the Amazon. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson.Find this resource:

Hilbert, L., Neves, E. G., Pugliese, F., Whitney, B. S., Shock, M., Veasey, E., . . . Iriarte, J. (2017). Evidence for mid-Holocene rice domestication in the Americas. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1(11), 1693–1698.Find this resource:

Hill, K., & Hawkes, K. (1983). Neotropical hunting among the Ache of eastern Paraguay. In R. Hames & W. Vickers (Eds.), Adaptive responses of Native Amazonians. New York, NY: Academic Press.Find this resource:

Hoopes, J. W. (1994). Ford revisited: A critical review of the chronology and relationships of the earliest ceramic complexes in the New World, 6000–1500 BC. Journal of World Prehistory, 8(1), 1–49.Find this resource:

Iriarte, J., & Dickau, R. (2012). As culturas do milho? Arqueobotânica das sociedades hidráulicas das terras baixas sul-americanas. Amazônica - Revista de Antropologia, 4(1), 30–58.Find this resource:

Johnson, A. (1983). Machiguenga gardens. In R. Hames & W. Vickers (Eds.), Adaptive responses of Native Amazonians (pp. 29–63). New York, NY: Academic Press.Find this resource:

Junqueira, A. B., Shepard, G. H. Jr. & Clement, C. R. (2010). Secondary Forests on Anthropogenic Soils in Brazilian Amazonia Conserve Agrobiodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19(7), 1933–1961.Find this resource:

Kern, D. C., Lima, H. P., da Costa, J. A., de Lima, H. V., Browne Ribeiro, A., Moraes, B. M., . . . Kämpf, N. (2017). Terras pretas: Approaches to formation processes in a new paradigm. Geoarchaeology, 32(6), 694–706.Find this resource:

Kern, D., D’aquino, G., Rodrigues, T., Frazao, F., Sombroek, W., Myers, T., & Neves, E. G. (2004). Distribution of Amazonian dark earths in the Brazilian Amazon. In J. Lehmann, D. Kern, B. Glaser, & W. Wodos (Eds.), Amazonian dark earths (pp. 51–75). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.Find this resource:

Kirch, P. V. (2000). Temples as ‘holy houses’: The transformation of ritual architecture in traditional Polynesian societies. In R. A. Joyce & S. D. Gillespie (Eds.), Beyond kinship: Social and material reproduction in house societies (pp. 103–114). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Find this resource:

Lathrap, D. (1973). Alternative models of population movement in the tropical lowlands of South America. In Actas y Memorias del 39 Congreso Internacional de Americanistas: Historia, Etnohistoria y Etnología de la Selva Sudamericana (Vol. 4, pp. 13–23).Find this resource:

Lathrap, D. W. (1970). The Upper Amazon. New York, NY: Praeger.Find this resource:

Lathrap, D. W. (1971). The tropical forest and the cultural context of Chavín. In E. P. Benson (Ed.), Dumbarton Oaks conference on Chavín (pp. 73–100). Washington, DC: Trustees for Harvard University.Find this resource:

Leach, H. M. (1997). The terminology of agricultural origins and food production systems—a horticultural perspective. Antiquity, 71(271), 135–148.Find this resource:

Leme, V., & Aparício, M. (2018). Hacia una teoria etnográfica de la contradomesticación: críticas ameríndias al concepto de floresta antropogénica. Organized conference session 075 at XVI Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology, Belém, Brazil, August, 2018.Find this resource:

Levis, C., Costa, F. R. C., Bongers, F., Peña-Claros, M., Clement, C. R., Junqueira, A. B., . . . Al., E. (2017). Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition. Science, 355, 925–931.Find this resource:

Levis, C., Flores, B., Moreira, P., Luize, B. G., Alves, R., Franco-Moraes, J., . . . Clement, C. R. (2018). How people domesticated Amazonian forests. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 171.Find this resource:

Levis, C., Souza, P. F. de, Schietti, J., Emilio, T., Pinto, J. L. P. da V., Clement, C. R., & Costa, F. R. C. (2012). Historical human footprint on modern tree species composition in the Purus-Madeira Interfluve, Central Amazonia. PLoS One, 7(11), e48559.Find this resource:

Lima, H. P. (2015). Análises cerâmicas na arqueologia amazônica: Contribuições da amazônia central a uma longa trajetória de discussões. Revista de Arqueologia, 28(1), 3–29.Find this resource:

Lima, H. P., Neves, E. G., & Peterson, J. (2006). A fase açutuba: Um novo complexo cerâmico na Amazônia Central. Arqueología Suramericana, 2, 26–52.Find this resource:

Lima, H. P., Barreto, C. & Betancourt, C. J. (2016). Novos olhares sobre as cerâmicas arqueológicas da Amazônia. In C. Barreto, H. P. Lima, & C. J. Betancourt (Eds.), Cerâmicas arqueológicas da Amazônia: Rumo a uma nova síntese (pp. 19–31). Belém, Brazil: IPHAN, Ministério da Cultura.Find this resource:

Lins, J., Lima, H. P., Baccaro, F. B., Kinupp, V. F., Shepard Jr., G. H., & Clement, C. R. (2015). Pre-Columbian floristic legacies in modern homegardens of Central Amazonia. PLoS One, 10(6), e0127067.Find this resource:

Lovejoy, T. E., & Nobre, C. (2018). Amazon tipping point. Science Advances, 4(2).Find this resource:

Mann, C. C. (2000). Earthmovers of the Amazon. Science, 287(5454), 786–789.Find this resource:

Meggers, B. J. (1954). Environmental limitation on the development of culture. American Anthropologist, 56, 801–824.Find this resource:

Meggers, B. J. (1971). Amazonia: Man and culture in a counterfeit paradise. Chicago, IL: Aldine-Atherton.Find this resource:

Meggers, B. J. (1997). La cerámica temprana en América del Sur: Invención independiente o difusión? Revista de Arqueología Americana, 13, 7–40.Find this resource:

Mendes dos Santos, G. (2006). Da cultura à natureza—um estudo do cosmos e da ecologia dos Enawene-Nawe. Tese de doutorado. Universidade de São Paulo.Find this resource:

Mendes dos Santos, G. (2016). Plantas e parentelas: Notas sobre a história da agricultura no Médio Purus. In SANTOS e APARÍCIO (Eds.), Redes arawa: Ensaios de etnologia no médio purus. Edua, Manaus.Find this resource:

Mora Camargo, S. (2003). Early inhabitants of the Amazonian tropical rain forest. A study of humans and environmental dynamics. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Find this resource:

Moraes, C. de P. (2015). O determinismo agrícola na arqueologia amazônica. Estudos Avançados, 29, 25–43.Find this resource:

Franco-Moraes J., Baniwa, A. F. M. B., Costa, F. R. C., Lima, H. P., Clement, C. R., & Shepard, G. H., Jr. (2019). Historical landscape domestication in ancestral forests with nutrient-poor soils in northwestern Amazonia. Forest Ecology and Management, 446, 317–330.Find this resource:

Myers, T. P. (2004). Dark earth in the upper Amazon. In B. Glaser & W. I. Woods (Eds.), Amazonian dark earths: Explorations in space and time (pp. 67–94). London, U.K.: Springer.Find this resource:

Nepstad, D., Schwartzman, S., Bamberger, B., Santilli, M., Ray, D., Schlesinger, P., . . . Rolla, A. (2006). Inhibition of Amazon deforestation and fire by parks and indigenous lands. Conservation Biology, 20(1), 65–73.Find this resource:

Nepstad, D., McGrath, D., Stickler, C., Alencar, A., Azevedo, A., Swette, B., . . . Hess, L. (2014). Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains. Science, 344(6188), 1118–1123.Find this resource:

Neves, E. G. (2011). Archaeological cultures and past identities in the pre-colonial Central Amazon. In A. Hornborg & J. D. Hill (Eds.), Ethnicity in ancient Amazonian: Reconstructing past identities from Archaeology, Linguistic and Etnohistory (pp. 1–27). Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Find this resource:

Neves, E. G. (2016). Não existe neolítico ao sul do Equador: As primeira cerâmicas amazônicas e sua falta de relação com a agricultura. In C. Barreto, H. P. L. Lima, & C. J. Betancourt (Eds.), Cerâmicas Arqueológicas da Amazônia: Rumo a uma nova síntese (pp. 32–39). Belém, Brazil: IPHAN, Ministério da Cultura.Find this resource:

Neves, E. G., Petersen, J. B., Bartone, R. N., & da Silva, C. A. (2003). Historical and socio-cultural origins of Amazonian Dark Earths. In J. Lehmann, D. C. Kern, B. Glaser, & W. I. Woods (Eds.), Amazonian dark earths: Origin, properties, management (pp. 29–50). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.Find this resource:

Oliveira, J. C. (2016). Mundos de roças e florestas. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciencias Humanas, Belém, 11(1), 115–131.Find this resource:

Oyuela-Caycedo, A., & Bonzani, R. M. (2005). San Jacinto 1: A historical ecological approach to an archaic site in Colombia. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.Find this resource:

Pearsall, D. M. (1992). The origins of plant cultivation in South America. In C. W. Cowan & P. J. Watson (Eds.), The origins of agriculture: An international perspective (pp. 173–206). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Find this resource:

Piperno, D. R. (2011). The origins of plant cultivation and domestication in the New World tropics. Current Anthropology, 52(S4), S453–S470.Find this resource:

Posey, D. A., & Balée, W. (1989). Resource Management in Amazonia: Indigenous and Folk Strategies: Advances in Economic Botany. New York: New York Botanical Gardens.Find this resource:

Prestes-Carneiro G., Béarez P., Shock M. P., Prümers H., & Jaimes Betancourt C. (2019). Pre-Hispanic fishing practices in interfluvial Amazonia: Zooarchaeological evidence from managed landscapes on the Llanos de Mojos savanna. PLoS One, 14(5), e0214638.Find this resource:

Prümmers, H., & Jaimes Betancourt, C. (2014). 100 años de investigaciones arqueológicas en los Llanos de Mojos. Arqueoantropológicas, 4(4), 11–53.Find this resource:

Quesada, C. A., Phillips, O. L., Schwarz, M., Czimczik, C. I., Baker, T. R., Patiño, S., . . . Lloyd, J. (2012). Basin-wide variations in Amazon forest structure and function are mediated by both soils and climate. Biogeosciences, 9(6), 2203–2246.Find this resource:

Reichel-Dolmatoff, G. R. (1965). Excavaciones arqueológicas en Puerto Hormiga: Departamento de Bolívar (Vol. 2). Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes.Find this resource:

Reichel-Dolmatoff, G. R. (1976). Cosmology as ecological analysis: A view from the rain forest. Man, 11(3), 307–318.Find this resource:

Renfrew, C. (1987). Archaeology and language: The puzzle of Indo-European origins. London, U.K.: Jonathan Cape.Find this resource:

Rindos, D. (1984). The origins of agriculture: An evolutionary perspective. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Find this resource:

Rival, L. (2002). Trekking Through History: The Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource:

Roosevelt, A. C. (1980). Parmana: Prehistoric maize and manioc subsistence along the Amazon and Orinoco. Studies in Archaeology. New York, NY: Academic Press.Find this resource:

Roosevelt, A. C. (1989). Resource management in Amazonia before the conquest. In D. A. Posey & W. Balée (Eds.), Resource management in Amazonia: Indigenous and folk strategies (Advances in Economic Botany Vol. 7, pp. 30–62). New York: New York Botanical Gardens.Find this resource:

Roosevelt, A. C. (1995). Early pottery in the Amazon: Twenty years of scholarly obscurity. In W. K. Barnett & J. W. Hoopes (Eds.), The emergence of pottery: Technology and innovation in ancient societies (pp. 115–131). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Find this resource:

Rostain, S. (2008). Agricultural earthworks on the French Guiana coast. In H. Silverman & W. Isbell (Eds.), Handbook of South American archaeology (Vol. 217–233). New York, NY: Springer.Find this resource:

Rostain, S. (2016). Islands in the rainforest: Landscape management in pre-Columbian Amazonia. New York, NY: Routledge.Find this resource:

Salick, J., Cellinese, N., & Knapp, S. (1997). Indigenous diversity of Cassava: Generation, maintenance, use and loss among the Amuesha, Peruvian Upper Amazon. Economic Botany, 51(1), 6–19.Find this resource:

Santos, C., Claudino da Silva, F. E., S. M. da Silva, S. F., Lavalle Sullasi, H., Santos de Paula, A., Alves Oliveira, C., . . . Cavalcante de Castro, V. M. (2014). O pão-do-índio dos Nukini do Amazonas: estudo de caso sobre o uso de suprimentos específicos na dieta alimentar indígena. FUMDHAMentos, 11, 131–154.Find this resource:

Schaan, D. P. (2008). The nonagricultural chiefdoms of Marajó island. In H. Silverman & W. H. Isbell (Eds.), The Handbook of South American Archaeology (pp. 339–357). New York, NY: Springer.Find this resource:

Schaan, D. P. (2016). Sacred geographies of ancient Amazonia: Historical ecology of social complexity. New York, NY: Routledge.Find this resource:

Schmidt, M. (1917). Die Aruaken: Ein Beitrag zum Problem der Kulturverbreitung. Leipzig, Germany: Veit & Comp.Find this resource:

Scoles, R., & Gribel, R. (2011). Population structure of Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa, Lecythidaceae) stands in two areas with different occupation histories in the Brazilian Amazon. Human Ecology, 39(4), 455–464.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr., Levi, T., Neves, E. G., Peres, C. A., & Yu, D. W. (2012). Hunting in Ancient and Modern Amazonia: Rethinking Sustainability. American Anthropologist, 114(4), 652–667.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr. (2012). Close encounters of the Mashco kind: Attack by an isolated indigenous group in Peru. Anthropology News, 53(1), 17–21.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr. (2015). Agony and Ecstasy in the Amazon: Tobacco, pain and the hummingbird shamans of Peru. Broad Street, 2(1), 5–20.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr. (2018). Spirit bodies, plant teachers and messenger molecules in Amazonian shamanism. In D. McKenna, G. T. Prance, B. De Loenen, & W. Davis (Eds.), Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs II: 50 Years of Research (1967–2017) (pp. 70–81). Santa Fe, NM: Synergetic Press.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr., & Ramirez, H. (2011). Made in Brazil: Human dispersal of the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa, Lecythidaceae) in ancient Amazonia. Economic Botany, 65(1).Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr., Levi, T., Neves, E. G., Peres, C. A., & Yu, D. W. (2012). Hunting in Ancient and Modern Amazonia: Rethinking sustainability. American Anthropologist, 114(4), 652–667.Find this resource:

Shepard, G. H. Jr., da Silva, M. N. F., Brazão, A. F., & van der Veld, P. (2004). Arte Baniwa: Sustentabilidade socioambiental de arumã no Alto Rio Negro. In F. Ricardo (Ed.), Terras Indígenas e Unidades de Conservação da Natureza: O desafio das sobreposições (pp. 129–143). São Paulo: Instituto Socioambiental.Find this resource:

da Silveira, M. I., & Schaan, D. P. (2005) Onde a Amazônia encontra o mar: Estudando os sambaquis do Pará. Revista de Arqueologia, 18(1).Find this resource:

Simões, M. F. (1981). Coletores-pescadores ceramistas do litoral do Salgado (Pará): Nota Preliminar. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Serie Antropologia, 78(26).Find this resource:

Smith, B. D. (2001). Low level food production. Journal of Archeological Research, 9(1), 1–43.Find this resource:

Stahl, P. W. (2015). Interpreting interfluvial landscape transformations in the pre-Columbian Amazon. The Holocene, 25(10), 1598–1603.Find this resource:

ter Steege, H., Pitman, N. C. A., Sabatier, D., Baraloto, C., Salomao, R. P., Guevara, J. E., . . . Silman, M. R. (2013). Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora. Science, 342(6156), 1243092.Find this resource:

Steward, J. (1948). The tropical forest tribes. In J. Steward (Ed.), Handbook of South American Indians (Vol. 3). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Find this resource:

Van den Bel, M. (2015). Uma nota sobre a introdução de raladores de metal e sobre a produção e consumo da mandioca e do milho na zona costeira das Guianas durante o século XVII. Amazônica–Revista de Antropologia, 7(1), 100–131.Find this resource:

Vickers, W. T. (1976). Cultural adaptation to Amazonian habitats. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.Find this resource:

Vickers, W. T., & Plowman, T. (1984). Useful plants of the Siona and Secoya Indians of Eastern Ecuador (Vol. 15). Fieldiana: Botany series. Chicago, IL: Field Museum.Find this resource:

Virtanen, P. K., & Saunaluoma, S. (2017). Visualization and movement as configurations of human–nonhuman engagements: Precolonial geometric earthwork landscapes of the Upper Purus, Brazil. American Anthropologist, 119(4), 614–630.Find this resource:

Viveiros de Castro, E. B. (2002). Perspectivismo e multinaturalismo na America indigena. In E. B. Viveiros de Castro (Ed.), A inconstancia da Alma Selvagem e Outros Ensaios de Antropologia (pp. 347–399). São Paulo.Find this resource:

Watling, J., Iriarte, J., Mayle, F. E., Schaan, D., Pessenda, L. C. R., Loader, N. J., . . . Ranzi, A. (2017). Impact of pre-Columbian ‘geoglyph’ builders on Amazonian forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Find this resource:

Watling, J., Shock, M. P., Mongelo, G. Z., Almeida, F. O., Kater, T., Oliveira, P. E., . . . Neves, E. G. (2018). Direct archaeological evidence for Southwestern Amazonia as an early plant domestication and food production centre. PLoS One, 13(7), e0199868.Find this resource:

Werner, D. (1983). Why do the Mekranoti trek? In R. B. Hames & W. T. Vickers (Eds.), Adaptive responses of Native Amazonians (pp. 225–238). New York, NY: Academic Press.Find this resource:

Whitney, B. S., Dickau, R., Mayle, F. E., Walker, J. H., Soto, J. D., & Iriarte, J. (2014). Pre-Columbian raised- eld agriculture and land use in the Bolivian Amazon. The Holocene, 24(2), 231–241.Find this resource:

Wilbert, J. (1987). Tobacco and Shamanism in South America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Find this resource:

Wüst, I., & Barreto, C. (1999). The ring villages of central Brazil: A challenge for Amazonian archaeology. Latin American Antiquity, 10(1), 3–23.Find this resource:

Zarrillo, S., Gaikwad, N., Lanaud, C., Powis, T., Viot, C., Lesur, I., . . . Valdez, F. (2018). The use and domestication of Theobroma cacao during the mid-Holocene in the upper Amazon. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(12), 1879–1888.Find this resource:

Zent, S. (2002). Independent yet interdependent “isode”: The historical ecology of traditional Piaroa settlement pattern. In B. Balée (Ed.) Advances in Historical Ecology, (pp. 251–286). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Find this resource: