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Title: The domestication of amazonia before european conquest
Authors: Clement, Charles Roland
Denevan, William M.
Heckenberger, Michael J.
Junqueira, André Braga
Neves, Eduardo Goés
Teixeira, Wenceslau Geraldes
Woods, William I.
Keywords: Crop Production
Human Settlement
Land Management
Pristine Environment
Resource Management
Social Development
Tropical Forest
Twentieth Century
Population Density
South America
Crops, Agricultural
Population Density
South America
Issue Date: 2015
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 282, Número 1812
Abstract: During the twentieth century, Amazonia was widely regarded as relatively pristine nature, little impacted by human history. This view remains popular despite mounting evidence of substantial human influence over millennial scales across the region. Here, we review the evidence of an anthropogenic Amazonia in response to claims of sparse populations across broad portions of the region. Amazonia was a major centre of crop domestication, with at least 83 native species containing populations domesticated to some degree. Plant domestication occurs in domesticated landscapes, including highly modified Amazonian dark earths (ADEs) associated with large settled populations and that may cover greater than 0.1% of the region. Populations and food production expanded rapidly within land management systems in the mid-Holocene, and complex societies expanded in resource-rich areas creating domesticated landscapes with profound impacts on local and regional ecology. ADE food production projections support estimates of at least eight million people in 1492. By this time, highly diverse regional systems had developed across Amazonia where subsistence resources were created with plant and landscape domestication, including earthworks. This review argues that the Amazonian anthrome was no less socio-culturally diverse or populous than other tropical forested areas of the world prior to European conquest. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0813
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