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A Comparative Approach to Understanding Ancient Agriculture Complexity in the Tropics

Author(s): Scott Macrae

Year: 2016

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Archaeologists have continuously struggled with understanding the complexity exhibited within relic agricultural practices. In this paper, we will explore a comparative approach to addressing this dilemma using cases studies from the charter states of Southeast Asia (CE 800-1400) and the classic Maya kingdoms of Mesoamerica (CE 250-900). Special emphasis is placed upon the use of intensive practices and their resiliency within the agricultural strategy. Comparing the similarities and differences in ancient agricultural strategies across these tropical societies provides important insights in how archaeologists can interpret these systems. This is especially significant when considering new methods of analysis and differential presence evidence in these areas across the tropics. The comparative approach can offer new ideas into how these complex agricultural systems functioned in the past and contributed to the rise, peak, and eventual decline of these ancient tropical states.

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A Comparative Approach to Understanding Ancient Agriculture Complexity in the Tropics. Scott Macrae. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403365)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America