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The Archaeology of Drylands
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A The University of Sydney. The story of Fezzan agriculture is one of ever-more sophisticated strategies to extract enough groundwater to maintain the system, as the water table progressively dropped through over extraction. As a set, this cluster of case studies amplify the themes outlined by Barker and Gilbertson at the beginning of the volume: that dryland agricultural systems are often very resilient; that there is overall similarity of the techniques used to harvest and manage water, especially flood-water; and that these systems are not simply tailored to their environment but reflect the outcome of a range of social, political, and economic factors.
There are few reasons, argue Barker and Gilbertson, to believe that long-tern environmental change or human-induced land degradation both of which occurred played a central role in the abandonment of these systems.
The other papers in this book from sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas, seem poorly integrated into the rest of the volume, unless they are included simply to illustrate something of the diversity in dryland systems. One factor that links this second set of papers is that they are concerned with subsistence agriculture, whose fortunes are more closely tied to environmental conditions than markets.
- CRC Press Online - Series: One World Archaeology.
- CRC Press Online - Series: One World Archaeology!
- The Archaeology of Drylands : Graeme Barker : .
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Sutton looks at relict field systems in Maasailand and concludes that strong environmental limits to agricultural expansion in this area, combined with population growth and climate-driven hydrological decline, led to abandonment of the system by AD AD. One of the features of intensive agriculture in African drylands is that it is very patchy in time and space. Kinahan, in one of the more original papers, looks at agropastoralists in southeast Botswana and concludes that such disequilibrium is fundamental to the overall sustainability of these systems.
Local or even regional agricultural collapse and abandonment serve as a sort of fallow that sustains the wider system. Minnis looking at dryland agriculture in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts in southwestern USA seems inclined to a similar conclusion. Dryland agriculture systems are resilient and opportunistic: subject to decline and local environmental degradation but able to regenerate. The most unexpected additions to a volume on dryland agriculture are two papers on Europe — one on Switzerland that well-known desert , the other on the Rhone valley in France — and one on the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe where the local rainfall is mm pa.
This is stretching the concept of drylands somewhat and reveals the strong concern of the editors with water management systems rather than desert environments per se.
The Archaeology of Drylands: Living at the Margin - Graeme Barker, David Gilbertson - Google книги
This book discusses successes and failures of past land use and settlement in drylands, and contributes to wider debates about desertification and the sustainability of dryland settlement. Excerpt One World Archaeology is dedicated to exploring new themes, theories and applications in archaeology from around the world. Read preview Overview. Killion University of Alabama Press, Just Deserts? XII, No. Plymouth Colony The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.