The Early Role of Biogeography in the Creation of Modern Ecology Assessments

Author(s): Vernon Scarborough; Christian Isendahl

Year: 2018


The landscapes and natural environments within the tropics and their wet-dry forests were the seat for understanding modern ecological principles. Initiated by Alexander von Humboldt and fundamentally altered theoretically by Charles Darwin, contemporary views of the couple human-nature dynamic were "discovered" in the New World first. Unlike the prominent worldview identifiable in the Near East and subsequently in early colonizing Europe in which "man must have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28), Central and South America settings show the inextricable affinity between humanity and the slowly modified biogeography. Clearly denudation did occur, but it was never on the scale practiced in the West. Technological thresholds and breakthroughs seldom accelerated through time; and the role of labor in an environment without widespread domesticated animals and zoonotic diseases made for a different ecological emphasis and a worldview that cultivated the role of plants, animals and their interplay. The domestication process was markedly different than in the Old World, one that less honored and preserved the greater environs.

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The Early Role of Biogeography in the Creation of Modern Ecology Assessments. Vernon Scarborough, Christian Isendahl. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444163)

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Abstract Id(s): 18871