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Historical Ecology and Landscape Archaeology in Lowland South America

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Scrutinizes human transformation of South American landscapes and environments in historical times
  • Offers insight into local indigenous knowledge
  • Sheds light on conservation and restoration ecology in tropical and subtropical South America

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

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About this book

This edited volume scrutinizes how pre-Columbian human societies have shaped and transformed lowland South America – contributing to biological and landscape diversity. This geographic area has supported human populations since at least the transition from the Pleistocene to Holocene, but the nature and scale of these interactions are matters of debate and their legacy to modern lowland environments is not fully understood.

This book brings together works from distinct disciplines, including theoretical and methodological approaches on single case studies or broad regional syntheses, with no chronological constraint. The editors aim to generate a novel contribution reporting the most recent and ground-breaking research on human interactions with past environments and resources in lowland South America, from pre-Columbian to Colonial times. The volume also discusses the legacy of these past interactions and their potential contribution to informing current conservationand development agendas, providing examples of how archaeology and paleoecology can fill gaps in conservation and developmental policy. This volume will be of interest to students, archaeologists, and readers of Latin American studies.


Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Legacies

  2. Our Shared Past

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Prehistory and Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

    André Carlo Colonese

  • Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil

    Rafael Guedes Milheira

About the editors

André Carlo Colonese is a Director of Research in the Department of Prehistory and the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universidade Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain). He specializes in environmental and molecular archaeology, utilizing zooarchaeology, light stable isotopes and organic residue analysis to gain insight into human-environment interactions and economic practices of the past. He has led several multidisciplinary research projects to assess the long-term development of small-scale fisheries in Brazil and their impact on present-day marine ecosystems and food security in the region. His research interests also include the study of early food production in tropical coastal areas of South America, and the role that Mediterranean coastal environments played in supporting Pleistocene and Holocene foragers and early farming communities in southern Europe. 

Rafael Milheira is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the Federal University of Pelotas (Brazil). He is also the head of the Laboratory of Teaching and Research in Anthropology and Archaeology (LEPAARQ-UFPEL) and a researcher for the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq-Brazil). His research focuses on the archaeology and long-term indigenous history of Patos and Mirim Lagoons in southern Brazil. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Historical Ecology and Landscape Archaeology in Lowland South America

  • Editors: André Carlo Colonese, Rafael Guedes Milheira

  • Series Title: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-32283-9Published: 23 June 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-32286-0Published: 24 June 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-32284-6Published: 22 June 2023

  • Series ISSN: 1568-2722

  • Series E-ISSN: 2730-6984

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 319

  • Number of Illustrations: 25 b/w illustrations, 67 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Archaeology, Conservation Biology/Ecology, History of the Americas

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