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Archaeology, Volcanism, and Remote Sensing in the Arenal Region, Costa Rica

Payson D. Sheets

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ISBN 10: 0292704356 / ISBN 13: 9780292704350
Published by University of Texas Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Archaeology, Volcanism, and Remote Sensing ...

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Binding: Paperback / softback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

How humans adapt to life in an area prone to natural disasters is an intriguing study for the social sciences. In this volume, experts from several disciplines explore the adaptation process of prehistoric societies in the Arenal region of Costa Rica, an area that has experienced numerous volcanic eruptions during the last several millennia. The data in this volume come from a survey of the region conducted under the leadership of Payson Sheets. Using remote sensing technology, including color infrared photography and the Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner, researchers have compiled a detailed record of human settlements in the area, from about 2000 BC to the Spanish Conquest at about AD 1500. Combining remote sensing technology with traditional techniques of archaeology, the researchers found dozens of previously unknown archaeological sites and a network of prehistoric footpaths that reveals patterns of travel and communication across the region. They excavated numerous villages, some dating to before 2000 BC, around the shores of Lake Arenal, uncovering significant data about the food sources, sophisticated pottery, and stone-working techniques of the people. From these findings, the authors conclude that the Arenal peoples prospered in their precarious environment by taking advantage of diverse food and lithic resources, keeping population levels low, and avoiding environmental degradation. Indeed, their societies evidently maintained far greater social stability than did those in Mesoamerica or the Andes. This book will interest a wide interdisciplinary audience in anthropology and archaeology, earth sciences, technology, geography, and human ecology.

About the Author:

Payson Sheets is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Brian R. McKee received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona.

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