01 October 2019

Workshop | Millennial Tropical Agricultures 2019 (MilAgro 2019)

International Workshop "Millennial Tropical Agricultures" (MilAgro 2019), Nice, October 1-3, 2019.
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In today’s global debate on food security and ecology, tropical agriculture has an increasingly important place in research and policy priorities. In the meantime, an unprecedented number of private initiatives seeking a balance between productivity and sustainability have emerged over recent years, demonstrating a growing concern worldwide. Alternative farming solutions arise, based on scientific research and inspired by traditional knowledge and ancient agroforestry systems. Reconciling biodiversity conservation, food sovereignty and social justice is now a major scientific and ethical challenge, which crystallizes in tropical areas.

However, there is a strong need to return to a fundamental research addressing tropical agriculture in a historical-ecological perspective, as the only way to achieve a comprehensive understanding of human adaptation strategies and impact through time. Indeed, many grey zones persist regarding the role farming practices had in the rise and fall of human societies, especially as the identification of their traces remains challenging.

The Millennial Tropical Agricultures International Workshop (MilAgro) provides an opportunity for researchers and students working in the Tropics to share their insights and recent studies on ancient farming practices and on their legacy. By bringing together researchers from different fields and different regions in the world, this meeting aims to highlight cross-cutting issues of human ecology in the Tropics. A wide range of topics will be discussed, such as the physical and social aspects of soil and water management, the resilience of food systems, or the long-term impact of agroforestry practices on forest biodiversity.

The conference will be held in Nice (south of France) from the 1st to the 3rd of October.

Registration is open! Please contact us: milagro2019@univ-cotedazur.fr


This meeting has three main objectives whose implications and scope are largely interdisciplinary, diachronic and transcontinental:

  • Define the state of the art of current research questions and issues in ancient tropical agriculture.
  • Identify innovative approaches to characterize ancient farming practices and better understand their functions and long-term impact on both societies and environments.
  • Generate new avenues for future international and interdisciplinary research projects.


Programme Overview

Thuesday 1 October 2019

9:00 10:00   Conference registration (coffee will be available in the reception area)

10:00 10:30 Welcome addresses

10:30 11:30   Keynote talk: Interpreting the agricultural practices of pre-Columbian farmers: insights from comparative studies of present-day systems throughout the tropics

Doyle McKey

Session 1: Oral communications

11:30 12:00   Identification and characterization of ancient agricultural landscapes and practices in upland tropical environments (Central Maya lowlands, Naachtun-Guatemala)

Louise Purdue

12:00 12:30  From cultivation to agriculture in South-western Amazonia

Umberto Lombardo

12:30 13:30  Buffet lunch

13:30 14:00  LongTIme: an interdisciplinary project to evaluate the Long Term Impact of ancient Amerindian settlements on Guianese forests and its consequences for biodiversity conservation

Jeanne Brancier

14:00 14:30  Discovery of raised fields in the humid savannas of Gabon

Richard Oslisly

14:30 15:00  Fields at Río Bec (Mexico). A case study of intensive cultivation in the Classic Maya Lowlands

Eva Lemonnier and Marie-Charlotte Arnauld

15:00 15:30  Coffee break                     

Session 2: Flash-Talks and Poster Session

15:30 15:35   Raised fields in Haiti, between African and American traditions

Stéphen Rostain

15:35 15:40   Cultivated plants craft in Classic Maya society: experimental and functional approach of the gourd work with obsidian blades

Naya Cadalen

15:40 15:45   Reconstructing pre-Columbian raised-field agriculture in the Bolivian Amazon through phytolith analysis

Javier Ruiz-Pérez

15:45 15:50   Embedded swidden of the tropical world: the milpa cycle of the Maya forest

Anabel Ford

15:50 15:55   Legacy of the ancient Maya: the twenty dominant plants of the Maya forest

Anabel Ford

15:55 16:00   Time and space across Amazonian societies: a microarchaeological approach of terra preta

Paul Boucher

16:00 16:05 A comparative study of present-day raised fields in the Congo Basin and pre-Columbian raised fields in Amazonia

Leonor Rodriguez

16:05 16:10   Strengthening biocultural diversity through agroecology and rural tourism: the case of the Sierra de Manantlán coffee gardens in western Mexico

Peter Gerritsen

16:10 16:15    Geoarchaeological studies, past versus modern soils: a new perspective to understand the impact of pre-Columbian activities in French Guiana

Jeanne Brancier

16:15 16:20   Changing trajectories in agrarian systems in the volcanic highlands of Zacapu (West Mexico) from AD 600 to AD 1450. A geoarchaeological approach combining LiDAR and geopedology.

Antoine Dorison

16:20 16:25   How to identify fire uses in ancient agrarian practices? A multi-proxy study of Maya swidden agriculture

Lydie Dussol

16:25 17:30   Open Poster Session

17:30 19:30 Cocktail reception (provided at the conference venue)


Wednesday 2 October 2019

Session 3: Oral communications

9:30 10:00   Hydro-agro-system of the wetlands in the Central Maya Lowlands: the wetland features of the bajos in the hinterland of Naachtun (Petén tropical forest, Guatemala)

Cyril Castanet

10:00 10:30 Indigenous mycorrhizae improve crop health and yield

Pia Parolin

10:30 11:00  Coffee break

11:00 11:40   Another look at the origin of intertropical agriculture (Amazonia and Central Africa)

David Sebag and Geoffroy de Saulieu

11:40 12:10   Archaeological histories of Holocene Amazonian plant management

Myrtle Shock

12:10 13:30   Buffet lunch

13:30 14:00 Rice and trees: 50 years of agrarian and landscape dynamics in the Southern Rivers (Western Africa)

Julien Andrieu

14:00 14:30 Micromorphological approach to soil response to anthropogenic constraints in tropical environments

Cécilia Cammas

14:30 15:00  From erosion to valley bottom silting in shifting cultivation areas: a long-term and connectivity approach in Northern Laos

Laurent Lespez

15:00 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 16:30   Closing talk: Beyond the swidden: Mesoamerican agricultural practices past, present, and future

Shanti Morell-Hart

Conference organizers

  • Lydie Dussol, Université Côte d’Azur, CEPAM, France
  • Stéphen Rostain, CNRS, ArchAm, France

Organizing committee

  • Julien Andrieu, Université Côte d’Azur, ESPACE, France
  • Paul Boucher, Université of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, ArchAm, France
  • Naya Cadalen, Université Côte d’Azur, CEPAM, France
  • Lydie Dussol, Université Côte d’Azur, CEPAM, France
  • Louise Purdue, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France
  • Stéphen Rostain, CNRS, ArchAm, France

Logistics, Publishing

  • Anne-Marie Gomez, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France, Administrator
  • Antoine Pasqualini, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France,
  • Sabine Sorin, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France
01 Oct 201903 Oct 2019
Salle Plate (RdC)
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Campus Saint Jean d'Angély 3
24 avenue des Diables-Bleus
06357 Nice

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