The loss of riparian woodland recorded in the archaeological and geomorphological records of the basins of the lower Ica Valley is but one early part of a larger and still ongoing history of the deforestation of the coast of Peru. This is an old and gradual story that can be read through the Spanish chronicles, administrative records, and recent memory. This chapter follows the traces of this tale, beginning in the deep past with the archaeology of the south coast, beyond the lower Ica Valley. It then turns to historical documentation, firstly to review the uses of Prosopis by humans on the coast of Peru and in arid lands elsewhere in South America, before finally returning to focus on the south coast to examine the historical record of deforestation there.
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