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Friday Seminar: Amber VanDerwarker

by eric — last modified October 25, 2010 03:47 PM
What Friday Seminar
When November 19, 2010
from 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm
Where A 222 Fowler
Contact Name Lana Martin
Contact Email
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Multiple Pathways to Intensification: Maize Production in the New World

By Amber M. VanDerwarker, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara


Most discussions of agricultural intensification link this process to political development, in which intensification either spurs or is spurred by political development. Several recent publications, however, have questioned this necessary linkage, citing cases of intensification in the absence of political development, as well as demonstrating intensification occurring at the household level, disassociated from larger institutional decision-making bodies. This talk considers multiple causes of intensification through a consideration of the timing of maize production relative to key cultural developments in several regions of the New World. Ultimately, while political development is often correlated with agricultural intensification, there are clear cases where (1) timing is variable, (2) complexity can occur without intensification or vice-versa, and (3) other causal factors are at work.

Part of the Fall 2010 series "Food for Thought: The Archaeology of Diet and Subsistence." Guest scholars explore approaches to and methods of investigating the foodways of past human societies.


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