Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. 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.

Village Size and Permanence in Amazonia: Two Archaeological Examples from Brazil

Michael J. Heckenberger, James B. Petersen and Eduardo Goés Neves
Latin American Antiquity
Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 353-376
DOI: 10.2307/971962
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/971962
Page Count: 24
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($9.95)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
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.
Village Size and Permanence in Amazonia: Two Archaeological Examples from Brazil
Preview not available

Abstract

[English] Recent archaeological investigations along the lower Negro and upper Xingu Rivers in the Brazilian Amazon provide important new evidence bearing on long-standing debates about the size and permanence of Amerindian settlements in the region. Preliminary regional surveys and more in-depth study of selected large (30-50 ha) sites, particularly analyses of the associations between structural features, anthropogenically altered soils, and artifact distributions, lead us to conclude that large, permanent settlements, likely associated with fairly dense regional populations, existed prehistorically in both areas. These findings cast doubt on the view that environmental limitations prevented sedentism and demographic growth among Amerindian populations throughout much or all of the region. Specifically, we conclude that fully sedentary and relatively large populations emerged in a variety of Amazonian settings prehistorically, not necessarily correlated with the distribution of one or another narrowly defined ecological variable (e. g., high fertility soils). Thus, a critical evaluation of core concepts in Amazonian anthropology, such as the várzea/terra firme dichotomy or tropical forest culture, is advised. // [Spanish] Investigaciones arqueológicas recientes a lo largo de los ríos bajo Negro y alto Xingú, en la Amazonia brasileña, proporcionan nuevas e importantes evidencias para los prolongados debates acerca del tamaño y la permanencia de los asentamientos amerindios en la región. Relevamientos preliminares realizados en la región y estudios más profundos de sitios de 30 a 50 hectáreas, particularmente un análisis de la asociación entre rasgos estructurales, suelos antropogénicamente alterados y distribuciones de artefatos, nos llevan a concluir que estos asentamientos de gran tamaño y permanentes, probablemente asociados a poblaciones regionales bastante densas, existieron prehistóricamente en ambas áreas. estos hallazgos plantean serias dudas a la visión, sostenida por mucho tiempo, de que limitaciones medioambientales habrian impedido el sedentarismo y el crecimiento demográfico entre las poblaciones amerindias de la región. Concluímos, específicamente, que poblaciones plenamente sedentarias y relativamente amplias emergieron prehistóricamente en una variedad de escenarios amazónicos, no necesariamente correlacionadas con la distribución de ninguna variable ecológica estrechamente definida. Por consiguiente, se requiere una evaluación crítica de ciertos conceptos incorporados en la antropología amazona tales como la dicotomía valle/tierra firme o la cultura de la floresta tropical.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
353
    353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
368
    368
  • Thumbnail: Page 
369
    369
  • Thumbnail: Page 
370
    370
  • Thumbnail: Page 
371
    371
  • Thumbnail: Page 
372
    372
  • Thumbnail: Page 
373
    373
  • Thumbnail: Page 
374
    374
  • Thumbnail: Page 
375
    375
  • Thumbnail: Page 
376
    376