Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change
Jago Cooper and Lindsay Duncan
This chapter considers the role of archaeology in creating solutions for coping with the impacts of global environmental change, illustrated by cases from Latin America. Past examples of the practical application of pre-Columbian innovations and techniques are considered, and the key themes of social practice and community engagement discussed. These principles are then applied to the islands of the Caribbean where archaeology can play an important role in accessing and illuminating pre-Columbian lifeways in the region. The comparative resilience of past and present lifeways to the hazards created by extreme weather events, precipitation variability, and sea level changes are discussed, and the role of archaeology as a means of engaging the public, stimulating discussion, and informing debate is considered.
Marcel Kornfeld and Gustavo G. Politis
The Americas (both North and South) were occupied by anatomically modern humans at least by 11000BP(12,900 calendar years ago)..An Asian origin of the First Americans is demonstrated through biological, linguistic, and archaeological data. Other regions, however, persist as potential points of origin or co-origin. By and immediately following 11000BP, cultural diversity is evident in material culture, subsistence, mobility, technology, and other aspects of early American culture. The first hunter-gatherers that entered the Americas apparently adapted quickly to different and diverse environments from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and further became differentiated through settling into distinct habitats of the continents. These first groups set the stage for the subsequent 10,000 years of cultural evolution in the Americas.