Land Use Patterns in the Sacred Valley of Peru


Karina Yager: Anthropology

Advisors: Enrique Mayer & Frank Hole


My research involves a historic and modern analysis of the land use patterns in the highlands of Peru. I work with aerial photographs and remote sensing imagery to detect the principle agricultural patterns in the Sacred Valley.

Along with the land use changes, there are observable ecological changes occurring in the landscape due to human and natural influences including landslides, deglaciation, and active soil erosion. The intent of my research is to evaluate both the ecological and human dimensions of the land use changes of the region from the Inka period through today. Archaeologically we have the material manifestations of the landscape transformations such as complex terracing systems and irrigation canals. There are also sufficient colonial documents detailing the occurrence of land use patterns in the region.

Aerial Documentation ranges from 1930 aerial photographs though modern day aerial images(including satellite data). In the lab my intent is to perform a spatial and temporal analysis of the principle land use changes in the region.

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20 September 2002