Clark L. Erickson

Professor of Anthropology, Graduate Chair

Ph.D. University of Illinois, 1988

 

Clark Erickson is interested in how archaeology can provide a long-term perspective on environmental change, biodiversity, and sustainable management. Since 1974, Erickson's Andean and Amazonian research focuses on the contribution of archaeology to understanding the complex human history of the environment and cultural activities that have shaped the Earth. Erickson uses historical ecology, landscape archaeology, and applied archaeology to understand the long-term complex human history of the environment and cultural activities that have shaped the Earth. His contributions include the human role in contemporary biodiversity, indigenous knowledge systems, native agriculture, sustainable landuse, and cultural landscape structure and aesthetics. He has considerable experience collaborating with descendant communities on applied archaeology projects with potential for sustainable development (Quechua in Peru, Cofán in Ecuador, and Arawak in Bolivia). Most recently, Erickson investigated pre-Columbian cultural landscape in the wetlands, forests, and savannas of the Amazon region of Bolivia (raised fields, ring ditches, fish weirs, causeways, and canals). He is editor of two recent volumes Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands (2006) and Landscapes of Movement: Trails, Paths, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective (2009) in addition to numerous other scientific and popular publications. Erickson is currently Professor in Anthropology at U. Penn and Curator of the American Section of the Penn Museum. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, H. John Heinz Charitable Trust, the University Research Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and the Interamerican Foundation.

The cultural and engineered landscapes of the Bolivian Amazon in 1491 (The Monkey Project 2002).

Research Interests:

Archaeology; South America and New World; archaeology of landscapes; prehistoric agricultural systems; technology and social organization; analogy; ethnobotany; experimental and applied archaeology.

Publications:

 

BOOKS:

2009 (with James Snead and Andy Darling) Landscapes of Movement: The Anthropology of Trails, Paths, and Roads. Penn Museum Press, Philadelphia. [I am author or co-author of 3 chapters]

2006 (with William Balée) Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands. Columbia University Press, New York. [I am author or co-author of 3 chapters]

1996 Investigación arqueológica del sistema agrícola de los camellones en la cuenca del lago Titicaca del Perú. Programa Interinstitucional de Waru Waru and Centro para Información para el Desarrollo, La Paz, Bolivia.

ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS:

i.p. Pre-Columbian Water Management in Lowland South America. In Water and Humanity: Historical Overview, edited by Vernon Scarborough, UNESCO, Volume VII, Rome [expected publication Summer 2010].

2010 Max Uhle en Filadelfia (1897-1899). In Max Uhle (1856-1944): evaluaciones de sus investigaciones y obras, edited by Peter Kaulicke, Manuela Fischer, Peter Masson y Gregor Wolff, Pp. 93-108. Pontíficia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima (PUCP) and Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschatfsförderung, Berlin.

2010 The Transformation of Environment into Landscape: The Historical Ecology of Monumental Earthwork Construction in the Bolivian Amazon. Diversity 2:618-652.

2009 Agency, Roads, and the Landscapes of Everyday Life in the Bolivian Amazon. In Landscapes of Movement: Trails, Paths, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, edited by James Snead, Clark Erickson, and Andy Darling, pp. 204-231. Penn Museum Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

2009 (with John Walker) Pre-Columbian Causeways and Canals as Landesque Capital. In Landscapes of Movement: Trails, Paths, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, edited by James Snead, Clark Erickson, and Andy Darling, pp. 232-252. Penn Museum Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

2009 (with James Snead and Any Darling) Making Human Space: The Archaeology of Trails, Paths, and Roads. In Landscapes of Movement: Trails, Paths, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, edited by James Snead, Clark Erickson, and Andy Darling, pp. 1-19. Penn Museum Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

2009 Comparative Variables for Trails, Paths, and Roads: (Bolivian Amazon [Causeways-Canals]; Bolivian Amazon [Earthworks]). In Landscapes of Movement: Trails, Paths, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, edited by James Snead, Clark Erickson, and Andy Darling, pp. 302-309. Penn Museum Press and the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

2008 Amazonia: The Historical Ecology of a Domesticated Landscape. IN The Handbook of South American Archaeology, edited by Helaine Silverman and William Isbell, pp. 157-183. Springer, New York.

2008 (with Patricia Alvarez and Sergio Calla) Zanjas circundantes: Obras de tierra monumentales de Baures en la Amazonia Bolivia. Report about the 2007 fieldwork of the Agro-Archaeological Project of the Beni, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Unidad Nacional de Arqueología, La Paz.

2006 Intensification, Political Economy, and the Farming Community; In Defense Of A Bottom-Up Perspective Of The Past. In Agricultural Strategies, edited by Joyce Marcus and Charles Stanish, pp. 233-265. Cotsen Institute, Los Angeles.

2006 The Domesticated Landscapes of the Bolivian Amazon. In Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands, edited by William Balée and Clark Erickson, pp. 235-278. Columbia University Press, NY.

2006 [with William Balée] The Historical Ecology of a Complex Landscape in Bolivia. In Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands, edited by William Balée and Clark Erickson, pp. 187-234. Columbia University Press, NY.

2006 (with William Balée) Time, Complexity, and Historical Ecology. In Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands, edited by William Balée and Clark Erickson, pp. 1-20. Columbia University Press, New York.

2006 El valor actual de los Camellones de cultivo precolombinos: Experiencias del Perú y Bolivia. In Agricultura ancestral. Camellones y albarradas: Contexto social, usos y retos del pasado y del presente, edited by Francisco Valdez, pp. 315-339. Ediciones Abya-Yala, Quito.

2004 Review of Cultivated Landscapes of Native Amazonia and the Andes by William M. Denevan. Latin American Antiquity 15(1):116-117.

2003 Historical Ecology and Future Explorations. In Amazonian Dark Earths: Origins, Properties, Management, edited by J. Lehmann, D. Kern, B. Glaser, and W. Woods, pp. 455-500. Kluwer, Dordrecht.

2003 Agricultural Landscapes as World Heritage: Raised Field Agriculture in Bolivia and Peru. In Managing Change: Sustainable Approaches to the Conservation of the Built Environment, edited by Jeanne-Marie Teutonico and Frank Matero, pp. 181-204. Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles.

2001 Pre-Columbian Roads of the Amazon. Expedition 43(2):21-30.

2001 Precolumbian Fish Farming in the Amazon. Expedition 43(1):7-8.

2000 Los caminos prehispánicos de la amazonia boliviana. In Caminos precolombinos: las vías, los ingenieros y los viajeros, edited by Leonor Herrera and Marianne Cardal de Schrimpff, pp. 15-42. Instituto Colombino de Antropologia e Historia, Bogota.

2000 An Artificial Landscape-scale Fishery in the Bolivian Amazon. Nature 408:190-193.

2000 The Lake Titicaca Basin: A Pre-Columbian Built Landscape. In Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas. edited by David Lentz, pp. 311-356.Columbia University Press, New York.

2000 Lomas de ocupación en los Llanos de Moxos. In Arqueología de Tierras Bajas, edited by Alicia Durán Coirolo and Roberto Bracco Boksar, pp. 207-226. Comisión Nacional de Arqueología, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Montevideo, Uruguay. (English version available below)

2000 Occupation Mounds (Lomas) in the Llanos de Moxos. English version of 2000 publication in Spanish Lomas de ocupación en los Llanos de Moxos. In Arqueología de Tierras Bajas, edited by Alicia Durán Coirolo and Roberto Bracco Boksar, pp. 207-226.Comisión Nacional de Arqueologia, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Montevideo, Uruguay.

2000 Review of Human Impact on Ancient Environments by Charles Redman. Latin American Antiquity 11(4):433.

1999 Neo-environmental determinism and agrarian "collapse" in Andean prehistory. Antiquity 73:634-642.

1999 Agricultura en camellones prehispánicos en las tierras bajas de Bolivia: Posibilidades de desarrollo en el trópico húmedo. In Los camellones y chinampas tropicales: Memorias del Simposio-Taller Internacional sobre Camellones y Chinampas Tropicales, edited by Juan José Jiménez-Orsornio and Véronique M. Rorive, pp. 39-52. Ediciones de la Universidad Autónomo de Yucatán, Mérida.

1998 Applied Archaeology and Rural Development: Archaeology's Potential Contribution to the Future. In Crossing Currents: Continuity and Change in Latin America, edited by M. Whiteford and S. Whiteford, pp. 34-45.Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle, NJ.

1996 Economic Development. In The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, edited by Brian Fagan, pp. 173-174. Oxford University Press, New York.

1995 Archaeological Perspectives on Ancient Landscapes of the Llanos de Mojos in the Bolivian Amazon. In Archaeology in the American Tropics: Current Analytical Methods and Applications, edited by Peter Stahl, pp. 66-95. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

1995 Review of The Onset of Inequality before the Arrival of the Inka by Christine Hastorf. Latin American Antiquity 6(2):186-187.

1994 Methodological Considerations in the Study of Ancient Andean Field Systems. In The Archaeology of Garden and Field, edited by Kathryn Gleason and Naomi Miller, pp. 111-15. The University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

1994 Raised Fields as a Sustainable Agricultural System from Amazonia. Paper presented in the Symposium Recovery of Indigenous Technology and Resources in Bolivia at the 18th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, Atlanta, March 10-12.

1993 The Social Organization of Prehispanic Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In Economic Aspects of Water Management in the Prehispanic New World, Research in Economic Anthropology, Supplement No. 7, edited by Vernon Scarborough and Barry Isaac, pp. 369-426. JAI Press, Greenwich, CT. [larger version with better images]

1992 Prehistoric Landscape Management in the Andean Highlands: Raised Field Agriculture and its Environmental Impact. Population and Environment (Special issue "Social Science Perspectives on Environmental Management," edited by Timothy Kohler), 13(4):285-300.

1992 Applied Archaeology and Rural Development: Archaeology's Potential Contribution to the Future.  Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society 20(1-2):1-16. [special edition Gifts to the Cayman:  Essays in Honor of Donald W. Lathrap edited by A. Zeighelboim, M. van de Guchte, and E. Engwall]. (see reprint as Erickson 1998)

1989 (with Kay L. Candler) Raised Fields and Sustainable Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In Fragile Lands of Latin America: Strategies for Sustainable Development, edited by John Browder, pp. 230-248, Westview Press, Boulder.

1988 Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin: Putting Ancient Andean Agriculture Back to Work. Expedition 30(3):8-16, special volume edited by Karen Mohr Chavez on Andean Archaeology, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

1986 Agricultura en camellones en la cuenca del Lago Titicaca: Aspectos técnicos y su futura. In Andenes y camellones en el Perú Andino: Historia presente y futuro, edited by Carlos de la Torre and Manuel Burga, pp. 331-350, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Lima.

1986 Waru waru: Una tecnología agrícola del altiplano prehistórico. In Andenes y camellones en el Perú Andino: Historia, presente y futuro, edited by Carlos de la Torre and Manuel Burga, pp. 59-84, Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Moscazul, Lima.

1987 The Dating of Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin of Peru. In Pre Hispanic Agricultural Fields in the Andean Region, edited by William M. Denevan, Kent Mathewson and Gregory Knapp, pp. 373-383, British Archaeological Reports, International Series, No. 359, Oxford.

1985 Applications of Prehistoric Andean Technology: Experiments in Raised field agriculture, Huatta, Lake Titicaca, Peru, 1981 1983. In Prehistoric Intensive Agriculture in the Tropics, edited by Ian Farrington, pp. 209-232, British Archaeological Reports, International Series, No. 232, Oxford.

1984    Waru waru: una tecnología agrícola del Altiplano prehistórico.  Boletín del Instituto de Estudios Aymaras 18(serie 2):4-37, Chucuito. (see reprint as Erickson 1986)

1983‑4    (with Frank Salomon) Tulipe, un recinto sagrado en la montaña ecuatoriana. Antropología Ecuatoriana No. 2‑ 3:57‑78. Quito, Ecuador.

1980 Sistemas agrícolas prehispánicos en los Llanos de Mojos. America Indígena 40(4):731-755. Mexico.


1977  (with Darwin Horn) Domestication and Subsistence Implications of Plant and Animal Utilization in the Titicaca Basin. Unpublished manuscript.

1976  Chiripa Ethnobotanical Report: Flotation-Recovered Archaeological Remains from an Early Settled Village on the Altiplano of Bolivia. Unpublished manuscript.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BOOKLETS:

2007 (with Daniel Brinkmeier) Pescadores Precolombinos del Amazonas Boliviano Tecnología Indígena y Transformación del Paisaje Sudamericano. Harris Educational Loan Program, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

2007 (with Daniel Brinkmeier) Pre-Columbian Fishermen of the Bolivian Amazon: Indigenous Technology and the Transformation of the South American Landscape. Harris Educational Loan Program, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

1986 (with Ignacio Garaycochea and Dan Brinkmeier) Como construir waru waru. Consejo Nacional de Ciéncia y Tecnología, Lima.

1986 (with Kay Candler and Dan Brinkmeier) Antukuq waru warun. (manual about raised fields in Quechua), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Lima.

1986 (with Kay Candler and Dan Brinkmeier) Antonio and the Waru Waru. (bilingual manual about raised fields in English and Quechua), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Lima.

1986 (with Ignacio Garaycochea and Luis Masias) Volver a construir waru waru. Centro de Servicio de Pedagogía para la Capacitación, Ministerio de Agricultura, Lima, Peru (7 class video training program for raised field agriculture in Quechua).

Internet Publications:

2009 (with Norman Badler and students of ANTH 258 and CIS 106) Sacred Landscapes of the Incas: The Ceque System. A study of the Cultural Landscapes of the Incas, Cuzco, Peru, by studio-seminar students of ANTH 258/CIS106: Visualizing the Past/Peopling the Past, Digital Media Design, School of Engineering, Fall 2009.


2005 (with Norman Badler and students of ANTH 258 and CIS 106) Tiwanaku: A Virtual Journey. A study of the Cultural Landscapes of Western Highland Bolivia by studio-seminar students of ANTH 258/CIS106: Visualizing the Past/Peopling the Past, Digital Media Design, School of Engineering, Spring 2003.

2003 (with Dana Tomlin, Alexei Vranich, and students of ANTH 557 and LARP 702) Tierra Sajama. A study of the cultural landscapes of western Highland Bolivia by studio-seminar students of ANTH 577: Sacred Geography of the Incas and Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning 702, Penn Design), Spring 2003.


Recent News about Clark's Research:

Nichols, Peter 2009 Domesticated Landscapes. Penn Arts & Science Magazine. Spring-Summer, p. 3, 2009.

Walder, Joyce 2009 Chew It Up, Spit It Out, Then Brew. Cheers! Dining & Wine. page D1. New York Times (September 9, 2009).

Mann, Charles 2008 Ancient Earthmovers of the Amazon. Science 321:1148-1152. (29 August 2008).

Hvistendah, Mara 2008 Amazonian Harvest: Can Prehistoric Farming Methods lead us to a Sustainable Future? Archaeology 61(4):20-25. (July/August 2008).

Olszewski, Deborah 2008 Meet the Curators: Clark L. Erickson. Expedition 50(2):4-5.

Mann, Charles 2005 Holmberg's Mistake. A View from Above in the Ben (HTML version)i. IN 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Alfred Knoff, New York. (PDF version, entire chapter)

2000 FBI Art Theft Training at the Museum. Expedition 42: 21-29.

Mann, Ted 2004 Bird’s-Eye View of the Amazon: Airborne Archaeologist Challenges Myth of a Pristine Wilderness. A short article about Clark Erickson’s research on the archaeology of landscapes and historical ecology in the Bolivian Amazon (Penn Arts and Sciences News, Spring 2004, pp. 18-21).

2002 The Secret of El Dorado (Free Online Video). Clark's research highlighted in the documentary film produced by David Sington of DOX Productions for the BBC-2.

2002 The Secret of El Dorado. (Text). Background information about the documentary film produced by David Sington of DOX Productions for the BBC-2.

Bray, Warrick 2000 Ancient Food for Thought. Nature 408:145-146.

Mann, Charles 2000 Earthmovers of the Amazon. Science 287(5454):786-789 (February 4 issue).

Kris Hirst's Internet interview with Clark Erickson about applied archaeology the the Andes. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.  (Spanish Version translated by Alvaro Higueras)


Courses:

ANTH 144: Native Peoples and the Environment (Freshman Seminar)

ANTH 258: Visualizing the Past/Peopling the Past
( Studio-Seminar)

ANTH 254: Archaeology of the Inca

ANTH 433: Andean Archaeology

ANTH 557: Archaeology of Landscapes (Seminar)

ANTH 508/HSPV 740: Conservation of Archaeological Sites and Landscapes (Studio-Seminar)

University Museum Room 436

Phone:

215 898 2282

Appointments:

Anthropology Department Faculty; Curator, American Section, Penn Museum; Latin American Cultures Program; Graduate Group of Art & Archaeology of the Mediterranean World; Faculty of Historic Preservation Program.