Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology

  • Elizabeth J. Reitz
  • Sylvia J. Scudder
  • C. Margaret Scarry

Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVII
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Elizabeth J. Reitz, Lee A. Newsom, Sylvia J. Scudder, C. Margaret Scarry
      Pages 3-19
  3. The Physical Environment and Environmental Change

  4. Human Ecology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Clark Spencer Larsen, Robert L. Kelly, Christopher B. Ruff, Margaret J. Schoeninger, Dale L. Hutchinson, Brian E. Hemphill
      Pages 161-189
    3. Karl J. Reinhard
      Pages 191-209
    4. Michael Russo, Irvy R. Quitmyer
      Pages 235-254
    5. Robert J. Hard, Karen R. Adams, John R. Roney, Kari M. Schmidt, Gayle J. Fritz
      Pages 315-333
  5. Social and Economic Strategies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 335-335
    2. Melinda A. Zeder, Susan R. Arter
      Pages 337-355
    3. Elizabeth S. Wing
      Pages 405-425
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 427-463

About this book


The purpose of Case Studies in Environmental Archaeology is to highlight studies addressing significant anthropological issues in the Americas from the perspective of environmental archaeology. Environmental archaeology encompasses the application of biological and geological techniques to the study of human/environmental interactions. Each chapter is an original or revised work by internationally-recognized geoarchaeologists, human biologists, paleoethnobotanists, and zooarchaeologists. Each study demonstrates how and why the information obtained using environmental techniques is important to anthropologists instead of describing, critiquing, or advocating a method. These ethnographic, geological, and biological case studies successfully demonstrate the application of environmental science toward the resolution of questions related to human behavior in the past.

This second edition is based on the 1996 book of the same title. The editors have invited back a number of contributors from the first edition to revise and update their chapter. They also have included new studies in order to cover recent developments in the field or additional pertinent topics. It also includes a separate index listing the scientific and vernacular names of plants and animals referenced in the volume.

These case studies present examples from sites in North America, the Caribbean, and South America. Some of the key topics addressed in this unique volume include:

Systemic relationships between people and the physical environments and paleoenvironments in which they live

Relationships among landscapes, resource use, residential patterns, and political alliances

Issues involving human nutrition, health, mobility, sedentism, plant and animal domestication, diet, and trade

Subsistence strategies and resource availability

Intra-community social relations, rural/urban relationships, ethnic identity, and the development of social complexity


Evolution Horticulture Human Ecology Landscape Archaeology Paleoethnobotany environmental archaeology landscape sedentism

Editors and affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Reitz
    • 1
  • Sylvia J. Scudder
    • 2
  • C. Margaret Scarry
    • 3
  1. 1.Georgia Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of Georgia, AthensAthensUSA
  2. 2.Florida Museum of Natural HistoryUniversity of FloridaGainesville
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

Bibliographic information