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Making a Meal out of Mahamaes: A Reply to Knapp's "Prehistoric Flood Management on the Peruvian Coast"

Richard T. Smith
American Antiquity
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Jan., 1983), pp. 147-149
DOI: 10.2307/279830
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/279830
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Making a Meal out of Mahamaes: A Reply to Knapp's "Prehistoric Flood Management on the Peruvian Coast"
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Abstract

While acknowledging the possible former role of floodwater in Chilca's sunken fields, this paper expresses concern about the limited and inconclusive evidence that Knapp presents in support of floodwater management. Too much reliance is placed upon inferences from integrated field layout while we still appear to lack either unequivocal and consistent stratigraphic evidence or firsthand experience of river flooding at Chilca. It is also doubtful whether one can legitimately assess the archaeological or hydraulic status of these fields without considering (1) the wider context of local irrigated farming, (2) the perennial source of underground water, and (3) the near certainty that fishing rather than agriculture was the subsistence base in such localities without perennial streams.

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