Anthropology 224





FALL 1998


Professor Clark L. Erickson






September 10: Introduction: Six Myths about the Neotropics

Roosevelt: Educating Natural Scientists about the Environment (handout)


September 15: The Neotropical Environment and Tropical Forest Culture

Moran: Chapter 1; Chapter 4; Chapter 3

September 17: The Amazon in 1492 and after

Moran: Chapter 2; Chapter 5

Lathrap: Tropical Forest Culture

Meggers and Evans: [Excerpt] Archaeological Investigations at the Mouth of the Amazon

Carneiro: Indians of the Amazon Forests


September 22: Hunting, Gathering, and Fishing in the Neotropics

Lathrap: The "Hunting" Economies of the Tropical Forest Zone of South America

Bailey et al.: Hunting and Gathering in Tropical Rain Forests: Is it possible?

Colinvaux and Bush: The Rain-Forest Ecosystem as a Resource for Hunting and Gathering


September 24: Earliest Peoples of the Neotropics

Gibbons: First Americans: Not Mammoth Hunters, but Forest Dwellers?

Roosevelt et al.: Paleoindian Cave Dwellers in the Amazon

Cook and Piperno: Native American Adaptations to the Tropical Forests

September 29: The Ecologically Noble Savage?

Reichel-Dolmatoff: Cosmology as Ecological Analysis

Chernela: Indigenous Forest and Fish Management in the Uaupes Basin of Brazil.

Redford: The Ecologically Noble Savage.

Stearman: Only Slaves Climb Trees

Alvard: Conservation by Native Peoples: Prey Choice in a Depleted Habitat

October 1: Domesticating People and Plants

Politis: Moving to Produce: Nukak Mobility and Settlement Patterns in Amazonia.

Lathrap: Our Father the Caiman, Our Mother the Gourd.


October 6: Transforming and Managing the Forest

Balée: The Culture of the Amazonian Forest

Denevan: The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492.

Clement: Native American Fruits and Nuts

Treacy: Bora Indian Agroforestry


October 8: Beer and the Competitive Politics of Feasting

Lathrap: The Antiquity and Importance of Long-Distance Trade [section on manioc]

Hugh-Jones and Hugh-Jones: The Storage of Manioc

Dufour: The Bitter is Sweet

Denevan: Stone vs. Metal Axes


October 13: Early Settled Life: Communities, Villages, Towns and Regions

Roosevelt et al.: Eighth Millennium Pottery from a Prehistoric Shell Midden.

Gibbon: New View of Early Amazonia

Smith: Anthrosols and Human Carrying Capacity in Amazonia.


October 15: Pottery, Language and People: The Spread of Tropical Forest Culture

Gross: Protein Capture and Cultural Development in the Amazon Basin

Beckerman: The Abundance of Protein in Amazonia: A Reply to Gross

Carneiro: A History of Ecological Interpretations of Amazonia.


October 20: Riverine People Past and Present: Making a Living on the Amazon

Moran: Chapter 2; Chapter 4 (skim)

Myers: Agricultural Limitations of the Amazon in Theory and Practice

Denevan: The Bluff Model of Riverine Settlement in Prehistoric Amazonia.


October 22: MIDTERM EXAM


October 27: Shamans and the Pharmaceutical Cornucopia

Zeidler et al.: Shamanistic Elements in a Terminal Valdivia Burial.

Reichel-Dolmatoff: Cosmology as Ecological Analysis (skim)

October 29: Tropical Forest Culture and the Origins of Andean Civilization

Lathrap: The Moist Tropics, The Arid Lands, and the Appearance of Great Art Styles.


November 3: Trade and Exchange with Neighbors and Beyond

Lathrap: The Antiquity and Importance of Long-Distance Trade Relationships.


November 5: Long Distance Contacts and Trade Networks

Lathrap: The Moist Tropics, The Arid Lands, and the Appearance of Great Art Styles (skim)


November 10: Raiding, Pillage, and Head-taking: the Nature of Neotropical Warfare

DeBoer: Pillage and Production in the Amazon.


November 12: Chiefs and Chiefdoms: the Evolution of Political Complexity

Carneiro: The Nature of the Chiefdom as Revealed by Evidence from the Calca Valley

Carneiro: A History of Ecological Interpretations of Amazonia (skim)

Myers: Agricultural Limitations of the Amazon in Theory and Practice (skim)

November 17: Chiefdoms of the Northern Andes: The Gold of the Gods

Bray: Emblems of Power in the Chiefdoms of the New World.


November 19: Transforming the Wetlands and Savannas: Raised Field Agriculture

Moran: Chapter 5

Parsons and Denevan: Pre-Columbian Ridged Fields.


November 24: High Civilization in the Amazonian Basin? Marajoara and Sangay

Meggers and Evans: [Exerpt] Archaeological Investigations at the Mouth of the Amazon

Roosevelt: The Rise and Fall of Amazonian Chiefdoms.


November 26: Thanksgiving Break!


December 1: Prehispanic Roads and Settlements in the Amazon

Denevan: Prehistoric Roads and Causeways of Lowland Tropical America.


December 3: class cancelled--Am. Anthropological Association Meetings in Philadelphia


December 8: Colonizing the Caribbean: The Tairona

Rouse: The Tainos.

[start readings for December 10]


December 10: The Neotropical Garden of Eden Revisited: Nature, Culture, and the Disappearing Forest.

Moran: Chapter 6

Hunter: Benchmarks for Managing Ecosystems: Are Human Activities Natural?

Stahl: The Significance of Anthropogenic Landscapes in Prehistoric South America

Coordinating Body: We are Concerned.

Conklin and Graham: The Shifting Middle Ground: Amazonian Indians and Eco-Politics.


December 12-14: Reading Days


December 15: FINAL EXAM Tuesday 8:30-10:30am Anthropology 224