We are grateful for the opportunity to respondto Erickson's (1999) critique of our articles onhuman-environment interactions in the LakeTiticaca basin of Bolivia (Ortloff & Kolata 1993;Abbott et al. 1997; Binford et al. 1997). Hisdecision to publish this critique in ANTIQUITY,rather than in the journals in which our articlesappeared, permits us to reach a broaderaudience. Erickson labels our interpretationsa form of 'neo-environmental determinism', buthis rejection of our conclusions stems fromserious misunderstandings and is misleadingto readers who have not examined our originaldata. He (p. 634) claims:1 our research represents 'simplistic reductionistthinking' that treats humans as 'passivepawns' of environmental change;2 our dating of the chronic drought in the Andeanaltiplano after AD 1150 is impreciseand not correlated with the 12th-centurydisintegration of the Tiwanaku state; and3 the drought did not affect intensive agriculturalproduction.
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