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Nature and Culture in Prehistoric Amazonia Using G.I.S. to reconstruct ancient ethnogenetic processes from archaeology, linguistics, geography, and ethnohistory

Eriksen, Love LU (2011) In Lund Studies in Human Ecology 12.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen undersöker sociokulturell och lingvistisk utveckling i det förkolumbianska Amazonområdet, med särskild fokus på perioden 500 f.Kr. till år 1500. Genom att sammanföra och analysera data från arkeologi, lingvistik, etnohistoria, etnografi och geografi i ett Geografiskt Informationssystem (G.I.S.) syntetiserar den stora mängder empiriska data från flera fält för att underlätta rekonstruktioner av förkolumbianska sociokulturella processer i regionen över lång tid och på makronivå. Dessa rekonstruktioner är fokuserade på att identifiera de socioekonomiska och sociokulturella mekanismer som ligger till grund för kulturella och lingvistiska expansionsprocesser och de mönster av... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Avhandlingen undersöker sociokulturell och lingvistisk utveckling i det förkolumbianska Amazonområdet, med särskild fokus på perioden 500 f.Kr. till år 1500. Genom att sammanföra och analysera data från arkeologi, lingvistik, etnohistoria, etnografi och geografi i ett Geografiskt Informationssystem (G.I.S.) syntetiserar den stora mängder empiriska data från flera fält för att underlätta rekonstruktioner av förkolumbianska sociokulturella processer i regionen över lång tid och på makronivå. Dessa rekonstruktioner är fokuserade på att identifiera de socioekonomiska och sociokulturella mekanismer som ligger till grund för kulturella och lingvistiska expansionsprocesser och de mönster av etnolingvistisk diversitet som de har gett upphov till. Avhandlingen är således ett inlägg i sedan länge förda debatter kring betydelsen av migration, ekologi, försörjning, handel, språk och etnicitet i sådana processer och erbjuder nya förklaringar till utbredningen av språkfamiljer och etnolingvistiska grupper i Amazonas.



Avhandlingen fokuserar på en av de viktigaste lingvistiska expansionerna i det förkolumbianska Sydamerika, nämligen språkfamiljen arawak. Den identifierar några av de kulturella mekanismer som har präglat interaktionen mellan arawak- och icke-arawaktalande samhällen, med tonvikt på betydelsen av regional integration genom långdistansresor och handel. Ambitionen är att överbrygga de föreställningar om avgränsade och essentialiserade etniska identiteter som har präglat tidigare försök att förklara den rumsliga utbredningen av inhemska språk och typer av materiell kultur. Tonvikten ligger i stället på de olika faktorer som har legat till grund för aktiva processer av etnisk identitetskonstruktion samt på de metodologiska möjligheter som finns att identifiera sådana faktorer och processer vid specifika punkter i tid och rum. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis investigates the socio-cultural and linguistic development of pre-Columbian Amazonia, with a particular focus on the period between 500 BC and AD 1500. In assembling and analyzing data from archaeology, linguistics, ethnohistory, ethnography, and geography in a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.), it synthesizes large amounts of empirical data from several fields to facilitate long-term, macro-scale reconstructions of pre-Columbian socio-cultural processes in the region. These reconstructions focus on identifying the socio-economic and socio-cultural mechanisms underlying processes of cultural and linguistic expansion and subsequent patterns of ethno-linguistic diversity. The thesis thus addresses long-standing debates on... (More)
This thesis investigates the socio-cultural and linguistic development of pre-Columbian Amazonia, with a particular focus on the period between 500 BC and AD 1500. In assembling and analyzing data from archaeology, linguistics, ethnohistory, ethnography, and geography in a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.), it synthesizes large amounts of empirical data from several fields to facilitate long-term, macro-scale reconstructions of pre-Columbian socio-cultural processes in the region. These reconstructions focus on identifying the socio-economic and socio-cultural mechanisms underlying processes of cultural and linguistic expansion and subsequent patterns of ethno-linguistic diversity. The thesis thus addresses long-standing debates on the role of migration, ecology, subsistence strategies, trade, language, and ethnicity in such processes, and offers new explanations of the distribution of language families and ethno-linguistic groups in Amazonia.



The thesis focuses on one of the major linguistic expansions in pre-Columbian South America, that of the Arawak language family. It identifies some of the cultural mechanisms in the interaction between Arawak- and non-Arawak-speaking societies, emphasizing the role of regional integration through long-distance travel and trade. The ambition is to transcend notions of bounded and essentialized ethnic identities that have characterized earlier attempts to account for the spatial distribution of indigenous languages and varieties of material culture. Emphasis is rather on the various factors that have conditioned active processes of ethnic identity construction, and on the methodological possibilities of identifying such conditions and processes at specific points in time and space. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Santos-Granero, Fernando, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Amazonia, archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, geography, ethnohistory, Arawak, GIS, ethnogenesis, terra preta, pre-Columbian, ethnicity, regional exchange system, material culture
in
Lund Studies in Human Ecology
volume
12
pages
364 pages
publisher
Human Ecology Division, Lund University
defense location
Sal Världen, Geocentrum 1, Sölvegatan 10, Lund
defense date
2011-05-14 10:15
ISSN
1403-5022
ISBN
978-91-7473-113-2
project
The Prehistory of Amazonian Languages: Cultural and Ecological Processes Underlying Linguistic Differentiation
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
23e7d9c8-f00d-4dde-b21a-f6ed9714bd5c (old id 1890748)
date added to LUP
2011-04-20 14:12:58
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:48
@phdthesis{23e7d9c8-f00d-4dde-b21a-f6ed9714bd5c,
  abstract     = {This thesis investigates the socio-cultural and linguistic development of pre-Columbian Amazonia, with a particular focus on the period between 500 BC and AD 1500. In assembling and analyzing data from archaeology, linguistics, ethnohistory, ethnography, and geography in a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.), it synthesizes large amounts of empirical data from several fields to facilitate long-term, macro-scale reconstructions of pre-Columbian socio-cultural processes in the region. These reconstructions focus on identifying the socio-economic and socio-cultural mechanisms underlying processes of cultural and linguistic expansion and subsequent patterns of ethno-linguistic diversity. The thesis thus addresses long-standing debates on the role of migration, ecology, subsistence strategies, trade, language, and ethnicity in such processes, and offers new explanations of the distribution of language families and ethno-linguistic groups in Amazonia.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The thesis focuses on one of the major linguistic expansions in pre-Columbian South America, that of the Arawak language family. It identifies some of the cultural mechanisms in the interaction between Arawak- and non-Arawak-speaking societies, emphasizing the role of regional integration through long-distance travel and trade. The ambition is to transcend notions of bounded and essentialized ethnic identities that have characterized earlier attempts to account for the spatial distribution of indigenous languages and varieties of material culture. Emphasis is rather on the various factors that have conditioned active processes of ethnic identity construction, and on the methodological possibilities of identifying such conditions and processes at specific points in time and space.},
  author       = {Eriksen, Love},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-113-2},
  issn         = {1403-5022},
  keyword      = {Amazonia,archaeology,linguistics,anthropology,geography,ethnohistory,Arawak,GIS,ethnogenesis,terra preta,pre-Columbian,ethnicity,regional exchange system,material culture},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {364},
  publisher    = {Human Ecology Division, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Human Ecology},
  title        = {Nature and Culture in Prehistoric Amazonia Using G.I.S. to reconstruct ancient ethnogenetic processes from archaeology, linguistics, geography, and ethnohistory},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2011},
}