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Social adaptive responses to climatic degradation: insights from a pre-Hispanic Andean society

Abstract : How can societies manage wealth and power when natural resources are scarce or unpredictable? In such conditions, economic defensibility theory predicts higher sustainability in large, mobile human groups. Analyzing housing and food storage infrastructures in archaeological sites located in the arid Andean highlands reveals a family-based society adaptively facing an unstable, worsening climate during the 13-15th centuries. By sharing local knowledge, labor, and natural resources, this society succeeded both in limiting power and wealth concentration, and in sustainably producing food surpluses to be exchanged with neighboring populations. Enriching the economic defensibility theory, we propose a model where a compromise between collective action and family-based social organization allows the sustainable development of societies living in extreme or unpredictable environments.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03277098
Contributor : Thierry Winkel <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 4:21:10 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 10:14:02 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03277098, version 1

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Pablo Cruz, Richard Joffre, Cyril Bernard, Nancy Egan, Bruno Roux, et al.. Social adaptive responses to climatic degradation: insights from a pre-Hispanic Andean society. 2021. ⟨hal-03277098⟩

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