Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
The Sound-Symbolic Expression of Animacy in Amazonian Ecuador
Previous Article in Journal
Emerging Ranaviral Infectious Diseases and Amphibian Decline
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Historical Ecology of Human and Wild Primate Malarias in the New World

Pre-Columbian Earthworks in Coastal Amazonia

UMR 8096 “Archéologie des Amériques” CNRS, Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Maison René Ginouvès, 21 allée de l’Université, Nanterre 92023, France
Diversity 2010, 2(3), 331-352;
Received: 4 December 2009 / Accepted: 28 January 2010 / Published: 2 March 2010
As in other parts of Amazonia, pre-Columbian Indians have profoundly modified the coast of the Guianas. Between 650 and 1650 AD, Arauquinoid people occupied a territory that was approximately 600 km long and used the raised field technique intensively before the European conquest. They erected thousands of raised fields of various shapes, dug canals, ditches, and pathways, and built artificial mounds to establish their villages. All these earthworks changed forever the face of the coastal flooded savannas and their ecology. Such labor was probably organized under the leadership of a central authority: it seems that Arauquinoid societies were organized in a chiefdom system. Statistical calculations, based on the known surface area of raised fields and on their estimated productivity, suggest a population density of 50 to 100 inhabitants per km2. Pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Guianas coast carefully organized, managed and “anthropisized” their territory following a specific pattern. View Full-Text
Keywords: Guianas; coast; savanna; agriculture; raised field; Arauquinoid; pre-Columbian Guianas; coast; savanna; agriculture; raised field; Arauquinoid; pre-Columbian
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Rostain, S. Pre-Columbian Earthworks in Coastal Amazonia. Diversity 2010, 2, 331-352.

AMA Style

Rostain S. Pre-Columbian Earthworks in Coastal Amazonia. Diversity. 2010; 2(3):331-352.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rostain, Stéphen. 2010. "Pre-Columbian Earthworks in Coastal Amazonia" Diversity 2, no. 3: 331-352.

Find Other Styles

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop