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The human-environment conditions in the Americas on the eve of the sixteenth-century European conquest have of late attracted growing interest in both academic and public circles. Focusing on Middle America, this book completes a trilogy which has made the most comprehensive survey ever achieved of pre-Colombian agriculture and culture throughout the continents. It addresses the question of what lands were permanently occupied; how they were used; and what the environmental and social implications of this use were. The answers to these questions are central to such wide-ranging themes as indigenous land rights, the conservation and preservation 'ethic' of these native people, and the global carbon cycle. The kind, scale, and location of land use is documented and mapped in detail. The book not only demonstrates the sophistication of the agricultural landscapes and their local integration, but also investigates the omissions and land degradation of the native agriculturalists. Drawing on this wealth of data the authors make a stimulating contribution to the debate about resource, land, and population in the Americas.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199244539
ISBN-10: 0199244537
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 162mm x 23mm)
Pages: 330
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 7-Feb-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Thomas M. Whitmore

Dr Whitmore is director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Geography, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill: secretary/treasurer of the Cultural Ecology Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Professor Turner is a former Guggenheim Fellow, Senior Fellow of the Green Center for the Study of Science and Society, member of the National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Delivered the Clarendon Lectures in Geography and Environmental Studies on 'Integrated Land Change Science: The Yucatan Case' in Oxford, November 2000.