Design of pre-Columbian raised fields in the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon: Differential adaptations to the local environment?

Gondim Rodrigues, Leonor; Lombardo, Umberto; Veit, Heinz (2018). Design of pre-Columbian raised fields in the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon: Differential adaptations to the local environment? Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 17, pp. 366-378. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.023

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This study is concerned with raised fields – impressive pre-Columbian agricultural earthworks found throughout southwestern Amazonia – in the Llanos de Moxos (LM), in the Bolivian Lowlands. We explore the complexity of coupled human–environment interactions and propose hypotheses to explain the variation observed in the design of raised fields. We provide the most detailed description and mapping to date of raised fields and their distribution across the Bolivian Amazon. To do so, we draw on published data and on new information obtained through fieldwork, mapping, and geochemical analysis of raised fields. We describe all types of raised fields known in the LM, and introduce one new type, the filón. Our findings suggest that variation in the design of field types occurring in different regions primarily reflects differential adaptations to local environmental settings (e.g., variation in soil types, hydrology, soil engineers). Overall, our study offers an important example of a locally adapted agricultural technology that allowed pre-Columbian farmers to produce and cultivate well-drained soils in a great range of floodplain environments.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Paleo-Geoecology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Gondim Rodrigues, Leonor and Veit, Heinz

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2352-409X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

15 May 2018 09:18

Last Modified:

15 May 2018 09:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.023

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.116492

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/116492

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