Intensification, Innovation, and Change

New perspectives and future directions
  • Tina L. Thurston
  • Christopher T. Fisher
Part of the Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation book series (STHE, volume 3)


The contributors to this volume have tackled fundamental archaeological issues that have long been taken for granted — subsistence intensification, innovation and change. As an underlying assumption in many ‘bread and butter’ problems in prehistory — domestication, social complexity, state formation — the theoretical importance of such processes cannot be understated. What the editors found striking, leading to the development of this volume, is how little attention these topics have actually received. Since the intense flurry of activity around Boserup’s initial publications many decades ago, only a handful of treatments, as noted in our introductory chapter, do more than superficially reiterate these now-questionable theories. Instead, these long-held but unsupported assumptions borrowed from other disciplines have served as paradigmatic ‘place holders’.


Agricultural Intensification Agricultural Change Agricultural Strategy Andean Civilization Titicaca Basin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alam, S., 1993, Diversification or specialization in agricultural production activities. Economic Affairs 38:384–388.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, E. J., Deary, I. J., and Willock, J., Personality and Intelligence as Predictors of Economic Behavior in Scottish Farmers. European Journal of Personality 15:S123–S137.Google Scholar
  3. Binford, L. R., 1983, Working at Archaeology. Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Binswanger, H., and Ruttan, V., 1978, Induced innovation: Technology, institutions and development. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins.Google Scholar
  5. Boserup, E., 1965, The Conditions of Agricultural Growth. Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Bowler, I., 1999, Modelling Farm Diversification in Regions Using Expert and Decision Support Systems Journal of Rural Studies 15(3):297–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brookfield, H. C., 1972, Intensification and Disintensification in Pacific Agriculture. Pacific Viewpiont 13:30–38.Google Scholar
  8. Conelly, W. T., 1994, Population Pressure, Labor Availability, and Agricultural Disintensification: The Decline of Farming on Rusinga Island, Kenya. Human Ecology 22(2):145–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de Castro, E. V., 1996, Images of Nature and Society in Amazonian Ethnology. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 25:179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Doolittle, W. E., 1988, Intermittent Use and Agricultural Change on Marginal Lands: The Case of Smallholders in Eastern Sonora, Mexico Geografiska Annaler, Series B, Human Geography 70(2):255–266.Google Scholar
  11. Doolittle, W. E., 1984, Agricultural Change as Incremental Process. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 74:124–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dorsey, B., 1999, Agricultural Intensification, Diversification, and Commercial Production among Smallholder Coffee Growers in Central Kenya Economic Geography 75(2):178–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Erickson, C. L., 1993, The Social Organization of Prehispanic Raised Field Agriculture in the Lake Titicaca Basin. In Economic Aspects of Water Management in the New World V. Scarborough and B. Isaac (eds.) pp. 367–424 JAI Press, Greenwich, Connecticut.Google Scholar
  14. Farrington, I. S., 1985, The Wet, The Dry and the Steep. Archaeological Imperatives and the Study of Agricultural Intensification. In Prehistoric Intensive Agriculture in the Tropics, edited by I. S. Farrington, pp. 569–595. vol. 232 part i. B.A.R. International Series, Oxford.Google Scholar
  15. Fish, S. K., 1995, Mixed Agricultural Technologies in Southern Arizona and Their Implications. In Soil, Water, Biology, and Belief in Prehistoric and Traditional Southwestern Agriculture, edited by H. W. Toll, pp. 101–116. vol. 2. New Mexico Archaeological Council, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  16. Hayami, Y. and Ruttan, V., 1985, Agricultural development: An international perspective. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Ho, T. J., 1985, Population growth and agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of the Fifth Agricultural Sector Symposium: Population and food, ed. T. J. Davis, 112–31. World Bank, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. Ilbery, B. W., 1991, Farm diversification as an-adjustment strategy on the urban fringe of the West Midlands. Journal of Rural Studies 7:207–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolata, A. L., 1991, The Technology and Organization of Agricultural Production in the Tiwanaku State. Latin American Antiquity 2:99–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kolata, A. L., 1993, The Tiwanaku: Portrait of an Andean Civilization. Blackwell, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  21. Kolata, A. L. (ed.), 1996, Tiwanaku and Its Hinterland. Archaeology and Paleoecology of an Andean Civilization. 1 Agroecology. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  22. Lang, R. W., 1995, The Fields of San Marcos: Agriculture at a Great Town of the Galisteo Basin, Northern New Mexico. In Soil, Water, Biology, and Belief in Prehistoric and Traditional Southwestern Agriculture, edited by H. W. Toll, pp. 41–75. vol. 2. New Mexico Archaeological Council, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  23. Lappé, F. M. and Collins, J., 1977, Why Can’t People Feed Themselves? Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity F. M. Lappé and J. Collins, pp. 99–111 Institute for Food & Development, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  24. Leach, H. M.. 1999, Intensification in the Pacific A Critique of the Archaeological Criteria and Their Applications. Current Anthropology 40(3):311–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lele, U., and Stone, S. B., 1989, Population pressure, the environment and agricultural intensification: Variations on the Boserup hypothesis. Managing Agricultural Development in Africa (MADIA) Symposium Discussion paper, no. 4. World Bank, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  26. Morrison, K. D., 1994, The Intensification of Production: Archaeological Approaches. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 1(2):111–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Morrison, K. D., 1996, Typological Schemes and Agricultural Change. Beyond Boserup in Precolonial South India. Current Anthropology 37(4):583–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Netting, R. McC., 1993, Smallholders, Householders: Farm Families and the Ecology of Intensive, Sustainable Agriculture. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Raish, C., 1992, Domestic Animals and Stability in Pre-State Farming Societies. BAR International Series 579, Oxford.Google Scholar
  30. Sanders, W. T., J. R. Parsons and R. S. Santley, 1979, The Basin of Mexico: Ecological Processes In The Evolution of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York NY.Google Scholar
  31. Scarborough, V., 1991, Water Management Adaptations In Nonindustrial Complex Societies: an Archaeological Perspective. In Archaeological Method And Theory, M. Schiffer (ed.), 3:101–154. University of Arizona Press, Tucson AZ.Google Scholar
  32. Scarry, C. M., 1993, Variability in Mississippian Crop Production Strategies. In Foraging and Farming in the Eastern Woodlands, C. M. Scarry (ed.), pp. 78–90. University Press of Florida, Gainsville.Google Scholar
  33. Stanish, C., 1994, The Hydraulic Hypothesis Revisited: Lake Titicaca Basin Raised Fields in Theoretical Perspective. Latin American Antiquity 5:312–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Whitmore, T. M. and B. L. Turner, 1992, Landscapes of Cultivation in Mesoamerica on the Eve of the Conquest Annals of the Association of American Geographers The Americas before and after 1492: Current Geographical Research 82(3): 402–425.Google Scholar
  35. Whitmore, T. M. and B. L. Turner, 2001, Cultivated landscapes of Middle America on the eve of conquest. Oxford geographical and environmental studies. Oxford University Press, Oxford; New York.Google Scholar
  36. Wiegers, E. S., R. J. Hijmans, D. Hervé and L. O. Fresco, 1999, Land Use Intensification and Disintensification in the Upper Cañate Valley, Peru. Human Ecology 27(2):319–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wilson, D. J., 1999, Indigenous South Americans of the Past and Present. An Ecological Perspective. Westview Press, Boulder CO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina L. Thurston
    • 1
  • Christopher T. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyState University of New York at BuffaloBuffalo
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyColo rado State UniversityFort Collins

Personalised recommendations