The historical ecology of Lambayeque Valley, Peru (2000 BC-1450): resilience and change
Rui Sergio Murrieta
(University of São Paulo)
Diego Bitencourt Mañas (University of São Paulo, Institute of Biosciences)
Marcia Arcuri Suner (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto)
Paper short abstract:
This paper aims to build a preliminary Historical and Socioecological narrative of the Lambayeque Valley (2000 BC to 1450 AD), Northern Coast of Peru, and paradgmatic case to understand the socioecological interactions between people and climate change.
Paper long abstract:
This paper aims to build a preliminary Historical and Socioecological narrative of the Lambayeque Valley (2000 BC to 1450 AD), Northern Coast of Peru. In addition, we point out some important historical links between climatic events and major sociopolitical changes. Lambayeque Valley is part of the cultural region of the central Andes, which from the Atacama Desert to Ecuador. In the east-west axis, four great eco-geographic areas - coast, sierra, mountain and high selva. Although these landscape features are considered key features to understand the socio-ecological relations in the Andes, the evolution of these interactions has always been problematic. The Lambayeque valley was notarized in the 1980s by the discovery of Sipan Tombs. However, the great complex socio-environmental landscape and complex material culture have been known to archaeologists since early twentieth century. Major historical changes in archaeological cultures such as Moche and Lambayeque-Chimu seem to be, at least, partially linked to a chronic environmental instability caused by cyclic climatic events such as El Nino since 2500 b.C., at least. Despite this apparent instability, a resilient culture of pyramid building, complex irrigation systems and macro-regional exchange networks persisted throughout millennia. A resilient praxis appeared to have overcome ideological control of local and alien elites, making Labayeque valley long history a paradigmatic case to understand the socioecological interactions between people and climate change.
Dwelling in an evanescent landscape: people's strategies to deal with chronical uncertainty