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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2018
Oct 24, 2021
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STIA 357 - Environ Hist of Pre-Col Lat Am
This course addresses how Pre-Columbian peoples interacted with and perceived the natural environment, using archaeological, paleoenvironmental, and ethnohistorical evidence. By the end of the course, students should have an in-depth familiarity with the history of relevant Pre-Columbian cultures from prehistory to the time of Spanish contact. Primary readings will cover selected cultures of Central and South America, with special emphasis on Central Mexico, the Maya area, and the Andes. Class sessions throughout will focus on different cultures’ sophisticated water management, agricultural practices, and urban planning, as well as the cultural role of the environment shown through representations in writing, art, and architecture. Students will also address case studies through various methods, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. One objective of the course is to evaluate popular and scholarly claims about the legacy of indigenous environmental management. For example, such works as Charles Mann’s 1491 and Jared Diamond’s Collapse have sparked various debates about how Pre-Columbian cultures shaped the New World and the role that the environment or human action played in the so-called “collapse” of some civilizations. Throughout, the course will explore current events that pertain to the multiple stakeholders in modern Latin American environmental archaeology, including indigenous peoples, environmental and social scientists, policy makers, and advocates of sustainable development and protection of cultural patrimony.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Seminar

Science, Tech, & Int'l Affairs Department

Course Attributes:
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