Title

The Short History of the Ifugao Rice Terraces: A Local Response to the Spanish Conquest

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-17-2019

Publication Title

Journal of Field Archaeology

Volume

44

Issue

3

First page number:

195

Last page number:

214

Abstract

Establishing the construction sequence of agricultural terraces is extremely complicated due to the nature of their technological foundation and use. A number of methodological approaches have been developed to address this difficulty, such as bulk soil 14C dating, Optically-Stimulated Luminescence (OSL), sediment grain size, or a combination of these, but a fundamental problem of stratigraphic disturbance still exists. In this article, we utilize multiple datasets, including radiocarbon determinations, faunal isotopic signatures, human osteological remains, archaeobotanical data sets, energetics assessments, and spatial data to establish the origins of Philippine Cordillera rice terraces. Dominant historical narratives in the region suggest a 2000–3000 b.p. inception of the terrace systems, but previous Bayesian modeling and current archaeobotanical, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic data indicate that the shift to wet-rice cultivation is a recent phenomenon and a response to the intrusion of the Spanish Empire in the northern highland Philippines.

Keywords

Agricultural terraces; Dating methodology; Ifugao; Philippines; Responses to colonialism; Energetics; Spatial modeling

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology | Asian History | Diplomatic History

Language

English

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