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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the deployment of selected material elements of indigenous technology in rural development projects inspired by archaeological understandings of raised fields, terraces, and reservoirs in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru during the 1980s and 1990s, and asks if and how applied archaeology may help mitigate the negative effects of capitalist expansion. By distinguishing intentions, practices, and consequences of development it identifies applied archaeology as immersed in development policies. Through interviews with agronomists, archaeologists, and campesino farmers, technical errors in past rehabilitation projects are identified and socio-theoretical weaknesses discussed. As a second wave of indigenous technology-inspired projects aims to bolster adaptations to climate change, the chapter highlights the significance and broader importance of the traditions that uphold communal organization, water management, and territorial aspirations, as well as agrobiodiversity.

Keywords: archaeology, Bolivia, development policy, Ecuador, indigenous technology, Peru

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