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Zones of Refuge: Resisting Conquest in the Northern Philippine Highlands through Agricultural Practice

Author(s): Stephen Acabado

Year: 2017

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The origins of the extensive wet-rice terrace complex in Ifugao, Philippines have been recently dated to ca. 400 years ago. Previously thought to be at least 2,000 years old, the recent findings of the Ifugao Archaeological Project show that landscape modification for terraced wet-rice cultivation started at ca. 1600. The archaeological record implies that economic intensification and political consolidation occurred in Ifugao soon after the appearance of the Spanish empire in the northern Philippines (ca. 1575). The foremost indication of this shift is the adoption of wet-rice agriculture in the highlands, which served as zones of refuge for local populations. I argue that the subsistence shift was precipitated by political pressures and was followed by political and economic consolidation. Wet-rice agriculture was an expression of imperial resistance; it also facilitated political integration. Using paleoethnobotanical, faunal, and artifactual datasets, this paper documents the process that allowed the Ifugao to resist conquest.

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Zones of Refuge: Resisting Conquest in the Northern Philippine Highlands through Agricultural Practice. Stephen Acabado. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429811)


Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14713

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