Questioning Rebound: People and Environmental Change in the Protohistoric and Early Historic Americas

Departmental News

Posted:  Aug 03, 2022 - 12:00pm

Dr. Emily Jones (coauthored with Dr. Jacob Fisher) has a book published by the University of Utah Press entitled Questioning Rebound: People and Environmental Change in the Protohistoric and Early Historic Americas available for preorder. 

The record of human impact on world environments is undeniable; scholarship has shown that the ecosystems we live in today are structured by human behavior. Equally undeniable is the fact that events such as war, disaster, disease, or economic decay have, at various times throughout history, led to the human abandonment of particular environments. What happens to a human-structured environment when the way people use it suddenly changes? In Questioning Rebound, authors Emily Lena Jones and Jacob L. Fisher explore the archaeological record of a time when the human footprint on the land abruptly shifted: the period immediately following European contact in the Americas. During this time of disease-driven mortality, genocide, incarceration, and forced labor of Indigenous peoples, American landscapes changed in fundamental ways, producing short-lived ecosystems that later became the basis of myths about the American environments.Questioning Rebound explores the record and the causes of environmental change during the post-Columbian period, featuring case studies throughout the Americas. While both the record for and the apparent causes of the changes in the human footprint vary, the record of post- Columbian environmental change consistently reflects the environmental impacts of past social upheaval.