Holocene; Geoarchaeology; Llanos de Moxos; Human-environmental interaction; Soils; Raised fields; Pre-Columbian cultures; Bolivian Amazon
Plotzki A. J.H. May F. Preusser B. Roesti S. Denier U. Lombardo H. Veit (2015), Geomorphology and evolution of the late Pleistocene to Holocene fluvial system in the south-eastern Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon, in Catena
, 127, 102-115.
Lombardo U. S. Denier H. Veit (2015), Soil properties and pre-Colombian settlement patterns in the Monumental Mounds Region of the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivian Amazon, in SOIL
, 1(1), 65-81.
Lombardo Umberto (2014), Neotectonics, flooding patterns and landscape evolution in southern Amazonia, in Earth Surface Dynamics
, 2(2), 493-511.
Lombardo U. (2014), Quantitative morphometric analysis of lakes using GIS: rectangularity R, ellipticity E, orientation O and the rectangularity vs ellipticity index, REi, in Cartograhy and Geographic Information Science
Lombardo Umberto, Veit Heinz (2014), The origin of oriented lakes: evidence from the Bolivian Amazon, in Geomorphology
, 204, 502-509.
Lombardo Umberto, Szabo K., Caprilles J.M., May J.-H., Amelung W., Hutterer R., Lehndorff E., Plotzki A., Veit H. (2013), Early and Middle Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Occupations in Western Amazonia: The Hidden Shell Middens, in PLoS ONE
, 8(8), e72746.
Plotzki A., May J.H., Preusser F., Veit H. (2013), Geomorphological and sedimentary evidence for late Pleistocene to Holocene hydrological change along the Río Mamoré, Bolivian Amazon, in Journal of South American Earth Sciences
, 47, 230-242.
Lombardo Umberto, Denier Sebastian, May Jan-Hendrik, Rodrigues Leonor, Veit Heinz (2013), Human-environment interactions in pre-Colombian Amazonia: The case of the Llanos de Moxos, Boliva, in Quaternary International
, 312, 109-119.
Lombardo Umberto, May Jan-Hendrik, Veit Heinz, Geoecological Settings as a Driving Factor behind Pre-Colombian Human Occupation Patterns in Bolivian Amazonia, in eTopoi
, 3, 123-129.
Rodrigues Leonor, U. Lombardo S. Fehr F. Preusser H. Veit, Pre-Colombian agriculture in the Bolivian Lowlands: Construction history and management of raised fields in Bermeo, in Catena
The current project proposal is designed as a continuation of our SNF project 200021 - 1222. The research focuses on human-environment interactions during the Holocene in the southern Amazon Basin.Within the SNF project 200021 - 1222 we have reconstructed the mid to late Holocene fluvial dynamics of the south-eastern LM and highlighted the links between fluvial dynamics and pre-Columbian settlement patterns there; we have put forward a new interpretative model for pre-Columbian agricultural earthworks; and we have discovered late Pleistocene/early Holocene shell middens, which could represent the oldest archaeological sites in central and south Amazonia. Our results suggest that the periods of human presence in the LM and the levels of social complexity reached by the pre-Columbian inhabitants were closely linked to environmental changes that took place during the Holocene. However, new questions have arisen as a result of our findings that need to be addressed in order to fully understand the history of the LM during the Holocene. These will be the focus of the proposed project:What did the landscape of the LM look like during the early-Holocene at the time of the first pre-ceramic settlers? What kind of impact did the first settlers have on the environment? Which were the causes of the environmental changes that took place during the mid-Holocene? Which were the productive strategies employed by pre-Columbians in the late Holocene? How did pre-Columbian agriculture change soil properties? In order to address these questions we need to supplement the data we already have with more data from paleoecological archives that we have not yet investigated or we have only just started to investigate. Therefore, the present project includes the analysis of lacustrine sediments, the archaeological excavations of early Holocene shell middens and a detailed analysis of soils and sediments from sites with agricultural earthworks. Pollen and charcoal analysis from lacustrine sediments will help to reconstruct the environment of the LM during the Holocene, detect possible evidence of human fire and/or deforestation during the early and mid-Holocene and will provide the essential data needed to assess the impact pre-Columbian agriculture had on forests and savannahs. Geoarchaeological excavations of the shell middens are likely to lead to the finding of human artefacts, hence the definitive proof that they are anthropogenic; the excavation of soil profiles at several pre-Columbian agricultural sites and at reference sites with “natural” soil will allow us to reconstruct how agricultural fields were managed and to understand the reasons behind the large variety of shapes and locations.The study of human-environment interactions is fundamental to the correct interpretation of palaeoecological archives. These data are also important in order to assess the possible influence that post-contact re-forestation had on global climate and the resilience of Amazon ecosystems to human disturbance, as well as help inform development and conservation policies for the Amazon Basin today.