Testing for environmental rebound: untangling a multi-causal event

Author(s): Emily Lena Jones

Year: 2017


"Environmental rebound" has been proposed by a large number of researchers to explain the disjuncture between the reports of American environments by early Spanish explorers and the long-term human impacts evidenced in the archaeological record of North, Central, and South America. However, by definition environmental rebound may be caused by multiple factors: changes in human population numbers, settlement patterns, resource acquisition and/or land use may all have contributed to a rebound of environmental conditions to historically observed levels. The presence of these multiple potential causes as well as their intertwined nature makes it difficult to definitively demonstrate rebound in the archaeological record. In this paper, I review the literature (archaeological and other) on environmental rebound associated with the Columbian Exchange; explore the different ways scholars have tested for rebound; and assess the potential of different avenues for moving forward in understanding rebound events.

Cite this Record

Testing for environmental rebound: untangling a multi-causal event. Emily Lena Jones. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430899)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15432