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  • ISBN: 9780292776678
  • ISBN10: 0292776675

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

by Payson D. Sheets

  • List Price: $45.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1
  • Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
  • Publish date: 08/01/1994
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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 the latest remote sensing technology, including color infrared photography and the Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner, researchers have compiled a detailed record of human settlement patterns 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 human 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.Numerous line drawings, photographs, maps, and tables accompany the text.
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