COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Parmana - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125953504, 9781483276557


1st Edition

Prehistoric Maize and Manioc Subsistence Along the Amazon and Orinoco

Author: Anna Curtenius Roosevelt
eBook ISBN: 9781483276557
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th December 1980
Page Count: 336
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Parmana: Prehistoric Maize and Manioc Subsistence along the Amazon and Orinoco argues for a reinterpretation of prehistoric subsistence in the Greater Amazonian region of South America. Based on the preliminary results of an archaeological fieldwork in Parmana of the Orinoco basin, Venezuela, the book re-evaluates some of the assumptions made by anthropologists about human adaptation and the development of aboriginal culture in Amazonia.

Comprised of six chapters, this volume begins with a review of the theories of five scholars of aboriginal Amazonia in terms of logic and documentation: Julian Steward, Betty Meggers, Robert Carneiro, Donald Lathrap, and Daniel Gross. The next chapter presents an alternative theory, the hypothesis of technological change, and explains its theoretical framework. The demographic theory of cultural evolution is discussed, and its basis in general evolutionary theory is explained. Subsequent chapters focus on the empirical evidence for the hypothesis in studies of tropical resources, with emphasis on the productivity of tropical lowland soils and Amazonian faunal resources as well as the roles of maize and manioc in prehistoric Amazonian subsistence; the physical and biological characteristics of the Parmana region as an environment for prehistoric human adaptation; and the history of subsistence and population growth in prehistoric Parmana. The final chapter suggests possible directions for future research on the development of aboriginal culture in Amazonia. The book is illustrated with numerous maps, tables, and photographs, most of them never published before.

This monograph should be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists.

Table of Contents



1 Cultural Development in Amazonia

Steward: The Theory of Cultural Ecology

Meggers: The Theory of Environmental Determinism

Carneiro: The Theory of Circumscription

Lathrap: Cultural Ecology or Culture History?

Gross: Limiting Factors in the Amazon Basin


2 A Hypothesis of Technological Change

Boserup: Population Pressure and Agricultural Growth

Subsistence and Population: An Ecological Explanation of Cultural Evolution

3 The Empirical Basis for the Hypothesis

The Agricultural Potential of Tropical Forest Soils

Hunting and Fishing Resources in Amazonia

The Agricultural Potential of Floodplain Soils

The Plant Tools


4 Parmana

The Parmana Landscape

The Parmana Ecosystem

Carrying Capacity

5 The Archaeological Test

The Archaeological Background

The Method of Data Gathering

The Ceramic Sequence

Settlement Patterns and Demographic Change

The History of Subsistence


6 Conclusion


Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1980
28th December 1980
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Anna Curtenius Roosevelt

Ratings and Reviews