Eduardo Neves to present "Was There Ever a Neolithic in the Neotropics?: A Discussion from the Amazon"

Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 12:00 pm to 1:20 pm

New Trends in Latin American Studies Series Featuring: Eduardo Neves (Anthropologist, Visiting Professor at Harvard) It is accepted today that the Amazon was an ancient center of plant domestication in the Americas. However, it is also becoming clear that the management of several tree crops that were never domesticated provided an important source of resources for ancient Amazonian societies as well. Some of these tree species are known to be currently hyperdominant are overrepresented in floristic surveys done across the basin and it is likely that such ecological pattern results from human management in the past. If true, this means that the Amazon forests have a cultural history as much as they have a natural history. This presentation will draw from Eduardo Neves' own ongoing research in Southwestern Amazonia as well as research from others to provide a criticism of concepts such as domestication and agriculture when applied for the Amazonian past. It will be proposed that their application obscures rather than helps one to understand how complex forms of interaction between people and nature unfolded over the millennia in the tropical past.

216 Burr Hall