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Week 3 - Human Adaptation to the Environment in Latin...

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Human Adaptation to the Environment in Latin America Cultural Ecology: “the study of the adaptive processes by which the nature of society and an unpredictable number of features of culture are affected by the basic adjustment through which man utilizes a given environment” (Julian Steward 1955). Subsistence Strategies: The patterns of production, distribution, and consumption that members of a society employ to ensure the satisfaction of the basic material survival needs of human beings. o Food collectors Hunters, fishers, gatherers o Food producers Herders Farmers Extensive agriculture o Slash and burn Intensive agriculture Mechanized industrial agriculture Culture Areas: A culture area is first of all a geographical region; it has characteristic climate, land forms, and biological population—that is, fauna and flora. Humans who live in the region must adapt to its characteristics to obtain the necessities of life. Each culture area, then, has certain natural resources as well as the potential for certain technologies. North America o The Southwest, includes northern Mexico Mesoamerica o Southern Mexico and Central America South America o Lower Central America to the southern tip of South America
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Southestern o People hunted deer and small game and harvested fruits, nuts, and the seeds o 3000 BC : maize domesticated in Mexico o 300 BC, Mexicans who irrigated fields migrated to the region o Towns and communities developed around agriculture Mesoamerica 7000 BC cultivation of beans , squaxh, pumpkins, and maize 2000 BC planted fields of amaranth, avacado, fruits, and chili peppers 1400 BC to 400 BC: olmec Maya What is now eastern and southern Mexico, Guatamala, Belize, El Salvador, and Western Honduras from about 3000 BC Settlements: dry, limestone country, inland tropical and volcanic highlands in Southern Guatamala Social Organization o Development of cities and heirarchical society (300-900 AD) o 600 BC to 800 AD “Late Classic” Maya period with writing (glyphs), astronomy, mathematics (sun calender 365 days) o Trade-Teotihuacan o
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