Man and Environment: Essay on Man and Environment
After reading this article you will learn about the relationship between man and environment. Man cannot be considered in isolation from his environment. Relations between man and environment in the development of precolonial This resulted in the development of elaborated irrigation patterns, which allowed . Adepts of a third direction tend to interpret human-environment interaction as an about total human dependence on nature and elaborated the wide circle of.
The MA research programme was launched with support from the United Nations in Coevolution and Coadaptation The terms coevolution and coadaptation describe the never-ending process of mutual adjustment and change between human social systems and the environment.
Peoples actions have consequences on the environment. But also the environment influences human activities.
Human social systems have to adapt to their specific environment. Natural phenomena like storms, earthquakes force people to react. These natural phenomena can either be directly or not primarily caused by human actions and again influence human behaviour as people have to respond to a new situation.
Thus, the idea of humans as nature modifiers and creators came to be. Roots of the idea of human domination over nature are traced as early as the Enlightenment times, when the human ability to solve rationally all his or her vital tasks was declared for the first time T.
During the 20th century, the idea of humans as nature-creators was conceptualized in the context theories of cultural O. Sauer and anthropogenic in Soviet science landscape, and the notion of landscape as series of sequent occupancies D. In frameworks of postmodern methodology, this idea is conceptualized in the idea of landscape as artifact, based on two ideas T.
One of them is that landscape should be interpreted as a mental image, which could not exist without human beings who elaborate it. At the same time, humans consciously and purposefully form their geographical environment, and their decisions about living space ordering are deeply motivated by their vital needs.
Consequent application of these postulates inevitably results in partial or total negation of the natural landscape existence. This idea has become the starting point for the theory of human ecodynamics, which concerns the analysis of changes made by humans in the landscape in a long-lasting perspective.
Thus, the possibility of hunters and gatherers substantially reshaping their landscape is practically excluded or regarded as a minimal and non-permanent one, displayed only in connection with so-called secondary landscape components.
There is also the idea of mutual creativity in human-environment interaction. The process of formation of so-called integral direction of man-environment interpretation is long and ambiguous. These ideas, originating for the first time in ancient natural philosophy, obtained theoretical scientific background during the second half of the 19th century J.
The fundamental theoretical background for this idea was elaborated during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the framework of anthropogeography F. The balance of the time, which make up the proto and prehistory of human settlements in the basin is not well known. The present breakthroughs of archaeological research prove the human presence since the late Pleistocene, that is to say, 20, years B.
The findings of Tlapacoya belong to this cultural horizon, called "archaeolitic" by J. These first testimonies exemplify cultural remains of lithic industries and their related Pleistocene fauna. They contain chips, scrapers, and scalers, as well as knives that provide information on carving of hunted animals and work performed on hides and furs. The first settlements on the basin were small temporary campings.
They were followed, many thousands of years later, by more permanent settlements, such as San Vicente Chicoloapan, and fixed locations, such as El Arbolillo, Zacatenco, Tlatilco, Ticoman, Cuicuilco, Chimalhuacan, Copilco, which, even with certain intermittence, left clear signals to trace the history of the life in the basin since some 4, years ago.
The analysis of this cultural evolution shows us that the transition from savagery to barbarism, and from barbarism to civilization was very slow, as a derivation from cultural practices from hunters to hunter-pickers, an finally, to picker-farmers.
The latter paved the way to the development of urban nucleuses. Thus, the temporary campings of the pickers and hunters from the Pleistocene, are followed by the first permanent settlements, between the years 7, and 2, B. These setlements were composed by groups that could cultivate several vegetal species such as amaranth, pumpkin, a small tomato Physalis sp. By studying the pollen grains, it is assumed that they practiced certain degree of an incipient gardening activity with some of these plants.
This fact gave a great boost to population and even so, and despite the importance of this cultural stage, we have to acknowledge that it is the less known in the history of the valley. The traces collected in the beaches of Tlapacoya-Zohapilco date back to this stage, and prove that human communities settled around the lakes somewhere in the year 5, B.
The remains of these sites are made up by bones of Cervidae, birds, dogs and fish scales. The development of these first villages and the boom achieved by some of them, at the end of the first millenium B.
That is why this stage, known as Manantial spring water phase, was characterized by an outstanding development of agricultural production and population growth, as well as by the intensification of inter-regional trade and irreversible colonization in the central and southern parts of the basin. The colonizing expansion placed itself within a corridor located in Lake Chalco, and the lower slope of the Sierra Nevada range, as well as in the valleys pouring to San Juan Teotihuacan river.
Man and Environment: Essay on Man and Environment
Important settlements were also established on the river-lacustrian plains of Azcapotzalco and the lower slopes of Sierra de Guadalupe. Cuicuilco belongs to this stage; this city is located to the southwest of the basin, and reached an exceptional development towards the year B. We may still see its remains, in spite of the layer of lava that destroyed the old city around the years or B. The first expressions of the monumental architecture took place in Cuicuilco.
The truncated cone pyramid represents the remains of a ceremonial architecture complex, whose shapes were inspired and adapted within the surrounding natural environment. Simultaneously with the end of Cuicuilco, the development of Teotihuacan started in the center-northeast section of the basin. This city delimited the foundation for the cultural development of Central America. In its initial stage, the city was erected on the fertile lowlands of San Juan river, but it soon exceeded these limits and extended troughout the valley on land with less agricultural possibilities -little more than mm of average anual rainfall, which meant a risk for rain-fed crops.
This resulted in the development of elaborated irrigation patterns, which allowed the growth and evolution of the metropolitan area of the city of Teotihuacan. The phenomenon was also spurred by the domain and exploitation of the vast deposits of obsidian in Otumba, which allowed the urban center to handle strategically the trade of such valuable raw material in the pre-Spanish world.
For about one thousand years, since B. Its cultural spread reached the high lands of Guatemala, the Gulf coast, Oaxaca, and the west, center and north of Mexico.
Since year 0 of our age, with the erection of its largest monuments: The population estimated for this stage amount 30, inhabitants throughout a suface of 17 km2. During the following years and up to A. The existence of a city with such dimensions proves the strength of the sociopolitical and economic system that sustained this urban population, which brought about the blossoming of Teotihuacan culture. We may infer, then, that rural population, whose work sustained the great urban center, must have amounted several hundreds of inhabitants subject to a theocratic political system.
Economy was then based on intensive agriculture with irrigation and terracing, and rain-fed extensive crops. Besides, the city counted upon handcraft specialization and an important commercial system. As the settlement network became more dense and complex, population growth exercised a strong pressure on the environment, only bearable and explicable by the adaptation of a rational and consistent technology of appropiation and exploitation of the natural environment.
Thus, the population growth meant the intensification of food production, which in turn, brought about labor division among the population and favored the selection of settlements on those sites with larger potential resources.
Nevertheless, in the late classic, this growth overcame the optimum capacity of support of the environment, and thus generated its slow and progressive degradation, worsened by the aridity created by minor climatic changes. This critical factor put too much stress on the stability of the productive systems and as a consequence, the political stability collapsed.
The food crisis was the bone of contention among social classes, who struggled to treasure more food and to own more and better productive spaces. With the loss of the political authority, community production forms were often abandoned and most of the rational techniques were left aside, resulting in serious and irreversible deterioration processes in agricultural and forestry lands.