Some thoughts on recent publications in archaeobotany and agricultural origins. Opinions and views on the evolution and history of crops. The author's research is currently supported by an ERC grant on Comparative Pathways to Agriculture (no. 323842) and an NERC grant on “The impact of intensification and deintensification of Asian rice production: transitions between wet and dry ecologies” (NE/N010957/1)
Friday, 30 December 2011
Some on-line sources on Indian forest/ forestry history
Just a few links I have been coming across to some of the old classics on Indian forestry, especially during the 19th century. More and more primary material is coming on-line! My own version of how this fits together with a broader history of plant ecology and vegetation classification can be found as Chapter 2 in Asouti & Fuller Trees and Woodlands in South India (2008 US edition; 2010 Indian edition).
Hugh Cleghorn'sForest's and Gardens of South India (1861) is available from google ebooks or the internet archive. As it's title even implies this book does not make an idealistic distinction between natural forests and human used/managed woods, but treats both together under subjects like shifting cultivation firewood and charcoal production, and teak plantations although it was not conceived and written as coherent book but collects various shorter reports and letters as well as appendices of 19th century forest rules, etc. Cleghorn's discussion of shifting cultivation (kumri) drew upon the earlier descriptions from Buchanan's 1807 Journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar also available for download. (For a longterm perspective on shifting cultivation in India, see the recent article with my student Ellie Kingwell-Banham forQuaternary International.)
Cleghorn and Brandis were the foresters who first established forest conservation guidelines for British India which in turn were fairly influential on conservation approaches throughout the empire on the development of forestry as a scientific discipline. See this web article on the colonial origins scientific forestry.