SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • applied archeobiology;
  • human-environmental ecodynamics

Human-environmental relationships have long been of interest to a variety of scientists, including ecologists, biologists, anthropologists, and many others.[1, 2] In anthropology, this interest was especially prevalent among cultural ecologists of the 1970s and earlier, who tended to explain culture as the result of techno-environmental constraints.[3] More recently researchers have used historical ecology, an approach that focuses on the long-term dialectical relationship between humans and their environments, as well as long-term prehuman ecological datasets.[4-7] An important contribution of anthropology to historical ecology is that anthropological datasets dealing with ethnohistory, traditional ecological knowledge, and human skeletal analysis, as well as archeological datasets on faunal and floral remains, artifacts, geochemistry, and stratigraphic analysis, provide a deep time perspective (across decades, centuries, and millennia) on the evolution of ecosystems and the place of people in those larger systems. Historical ecological data also have an applied component that can provide important information on the relative abundances of flora and fauna, changes in biogeography, alternations in food webs, landscape evolution, and much more.