Monday, September 13, 2010


By Jan Timbrook, John R Johnson, And David D. Earle

     "The question of whether aboriginal hunting-gathering peoples of California modified their environments by periodic burning of vegetation has been widely discussed, both by anthropologists and by geographers. Several tribes used fire in hunting, with such techniques as rabbit drives; to improve forage for game animals which would then be hunted; and to increase the availability of certain plants for direct use by humans (Lewis 1973). Bean and Lawton (1973:xxxvi) proposed that burning was part of a sophisticated technological inventory of energy extraction processes which supported the high population density and cultural complexity of aboriginal California. In their view, true agriculture was not adopted by most peoples in the state because it would have been not only unnecessary but a step backward in efficiency…"

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