Questioning Rebound

People and Environmental Change in the Protohistoric and Early Historic Americas

Emily Lena Jones
Jacob L Fisher

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9781647691059 (hardback)
9781647691073 (ebook)

The extent of human impact on world environments is undeniable. At scales ranging from local to global, investigations continue to demonstrate that the ecosystems to which we currently belong are structured by human behavior. Catastrophic events such as war, disaster, disease, or economic decay have, at various times throughout history, led to the human abandonment of particular environments. What happens to a human-structured environment when the manner in which people use it abruptly changes? In Questioning Rebound, authors Emily Lena Jones and Jacob L. Fisher explore the archaeological record of the Americas during the period immediately following European contact, a time when the human footprint on the land abruptly shifted. During this era of disease-driven mortality, genocide, incarceration, and forced labor of Indigenous peoples, American landscapes changed in fundamental ways, producing short-lived ecosystems that later became the basis of myths regarding the natural state of environments across the Americas.

Questioning Rebound explores the record and the causes of environmental change during the period following European contact, featuring case studies throughout the Americas. While both the record for and the apparent causes of the changes in the human footprint vary, the record of post- contact environmental change consistently reflects the impacts of past social upheaval.