Palaeoethnobotanical Contributions to Human-Environment Interaction

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

Abstract

Archaeological plant remains have informed environmental issues in archaeology in variety of ways, particularly human-environment interaction, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, the impact of agriculture on the environment, the type of agriculture practiced, identification of habitats exploited by people, and the environmental aspects of agricultural origins. This chapter pays special attention to how plants may inform reciprocal interaction between people and the environment, an area of enquiry that is regionally emphasized, particularly among North American, anthropologically trained palaeoethnobotanists. This chapter also reviews the history and recent developments in environmental perspectives of palaeoethnobotany and relevant aspects of human ecology (ecological anthropology) such as niche construction and human behavioural ecology, resilience, ecological succession, and modelling. Case studies are provided from Japan (Jomon, Epi-Jomon, and Satsumon periods/cultures), the Lower Yangtze Valley, China Early Neolithic, and the Archaic and Late Woodland Periods on Ontario, Canada.

Keywords

Palaeoethnobotany Archaeobotany Human ecology Niche construction Historical ecology Human behavioural ecology Resilience 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada

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