The environmental history of the Cuzco region

Chepstow-Lusty, Alex, Bauer, Brian S and Frogley, Michael (2004) The environmental history of the Cuzco region. In: Bauer, Brian S (ed.) Ancient Cuzco. University of Texas Press, pp. 23-29. ISBN 978-0-292-70279-0

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The climate of the central Andes has varied throughout prehistory. Recent research indicates that there have been substantial fluctuations in rainfall and temperature over the past several millennia that greatly affected the plant and animal resources available to the people occupying various regions and altitudes. Although studies of past climate change in the central Andes are just beginning, there is some data which can be used to assess the broad climatic conditions that have existed in the Cuzco region since the end of the last glaciation. To understand the subtleties of past climatic change and its effects on societies, we must compare our archaeological data with climatic models developed using a variety of different Holocene records. In this chapter, we provide a summary of our current understanding of climate change in the Cuzco region since the end of the Pleistocene. While changes in climatic conditions should not necessarily be seen as the direct cause for cultural change in the region, they did present limitations and, in a few cases of severe drought, considerable challenges to the existing societies.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Mick Frogley
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:16
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2012 10:59
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