‘Finding the time’: A Long-Term Perspective on Human Interactions with Tropical Landscapes and Its Implications for Sustainability
Author(s): Patrick Roberts
Archaeology provides a truly long-term record of anthropogenic landscape interactions and human responses to environmental change. Such a record is particularly important in tropical settings that contain some of the most threatened terrestrial ecosystems in the world today. However, poor preservation and assumed human avoidance have meant that past records of human behaviour have been patchy for these biomes. Here, I review how new methodologies and archaeological interest has enriched datasets of human tropical forest use from the Pleistocene to the historical period. Alongside growing information relating to palaeoenvironmental fluctuations in different tropical regions, I seek to demonstrate that these datasets have much to offer modern conservation and policy-making in tropical regions. From documented millennia of tropical forest hunting, gathering, and burning alteration by hunter-gatherers to agricultural and urban populations surviving and collapsing through significant periods of climate change, I argue that a resource already exists for helping to understand problems facing human populations in tropical landscapes today. Archaeology and palaeoenvironmental science can contribute to future predictions of climate change severity and tropical forest degradation, as well as potential solutions and mitigation practices, at a time when these regions are becoming ever more densely populated by our species.
Cite this Record
‘Finding the time’: A Long-Term Perspective on Human Interactions with Tropical Landscapes and Its Implications for Sustainability. Patrick Roberts. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444169)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Abstract Id(s): 18721