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Historical Ecology

Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes

Edited by Carole L. Crumley

Environmental change is one of the most pressing problems facing the world community. In this volume, the authors take a critical step toward establishing a new environmental science by deconstructing the traditional culture/nature dichotomy and placing human/environmental interaction at the center of any new attempts to deal with global environmental change. Topics include the theorization of ecology, evolutionary theory, evaluating the nature/culture binary in practice, global climate and regional diversity, historical transformations in the landscapes of eastern Africa, extinction in Greenland, ecology in ancient Egypt, ecological aspects of encounters between agropastoral and agricultural peoples, archaeology and environmentalism, and the role of history in ecological research.

1994. 304 pp., 20 black-and-white illustrations, 8 tables, notes, references, and index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Carole L. Crumley, Joel D. Gunn, Fekri A. Hassan, Alice E. Ingerson, William H. Marquardt, Thomas H. McGovern, Thomas C. Patterson, Peter R. Schmidt, Bruce P. Winterhalder

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“Carole L. Crumley and her team of optimistic anthropologists have created a meaningful new approach to the study of humanity and the environment aimed in large part at policymakers… This highly useful volume … should show aspiring anthropologists that their work can make a difference to the world as we approach the new millennium.”
—Thomas E. Levy, Current Anthropology Vol. 38, no. 1 (February 1997)

Historical Ecology demonstrates that the … gap between the natural and social sciences can be bridged, and that a new holistic environmental science is possible by assuming an interdisciplinary perspective on environmental change. For this reason alone, Historical Ecology should appeal to those in the social and natural sciences who are concerned with developing new theoretical insight into regional and global environmental change.”
—Mark Nuttall, Polar Record (January 1995)

Historical Ecology provides a thought-provoking perspective on an exciting direction in multidisciplinary social science.”
—Brian Fagan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History Summer 1996


  1. Historical Ecology: A Multidimensioinal Ecological Orientation
    Carole L. Crumley
  2. Concepts in Historical Ecology: The View from Evolutionary Theory
    Bruce P. Winterhalder
  3. Tracking and Testing the Nature/Culture Dichotomy in Practice
    Alice E. Ingerson
  4. Global Climate and Regional Biocultural Diversity
    Joel D. Gunn
  5. Historical Ecology and Landscape Transformation in Eastern Equatorial Africa
    Peter R. Schmidt
  6. Management for Extinction in Norse Greenland
    Thomas H. McGovern
  7. Population Ecology and Civilization in Ancient Egypt
    Fekri A. Hassan
  8. The Ecology of Conquest: Contrasting Agropastoral and Agricultural Societies’ Adaption to Climatic Change
    Carole L. Crumley
  9. The Role of Archaeology in Raising Environmental Consciousness: An Example from Southwest Florida
    William H. Marquardt
  10. Toward a Properly Historical Ecology
    Thomas C. Patterson
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.