Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


What difference does a spatial history focussed on rivers make? What kind of space is a river? Drawing on anthropological and historical material, this chapter considers a series of ‘moments’ in the spatial history of rivers in the Amazon: firstly, the spatial practices of Amerindian peoples and how they changed with the arrival of Europeans; secondly, the European desire for geographical knowledge of rivers as a means to find riches, such as Walter Raleigh’s attempt to locate El Dorado; and thirdly, the role of rivers played in the creation of empires, in particular the Portuguese which came to colonize most of the Amazon riverine region. These themes of territory, knowledge, and everyday spatial practices come together in a 1740s report and an accompanying map by a Jesuit missionary of an exploration of the Tapajos, a tributary to the main Amazon river.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing spatial history
EditorsRiccardo Bavaj, Konrad Lawson, Bernhard Struck
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429291739
ISBN (Print)9780367261542, 9780367261566
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge guides to using historical sources


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