Land, Labor, Water, and Technology in Pre-Columbian South America

  • Charles R. Ortloff
Living reference work entry

Measuring Engineering Creativity

Archaeology examines the cultural remains of a society. Through anthropologic models, it attempts to interpret the thinking and societal/political/economic structure underlying the creation of ceremonial and secular architectural remains, iconographic and material objects, and historical reports from ancient sources. These tell how a society used resources to support its institutions and how it was organized and achieved sustainability. Further insight derives from examination of the use of land, labor, water, and technology to optimize agricultural production to maintain societal continuity through weather, climate, and geophysical landscape variations. The development of technologies vital for agricultural yield increase follows from observation of what works best to increase agricultural production. These heuristic principles were refined over time by in-field agricultural experiments (and chance discoveries) to improve field system designs and...


Archaeological Record Field System Agricultural Strategy Supply Canal Late Intermediate Period 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA