In this Book

Leaving Mesa Verde
summary
It is one of the great mysteries in the archaeology of the Americas: the depopulation of the northern Southwest in the late thirteenth-century AD. Considering the numbers of people affected, the distances moved, the permanence of the departures, the severity of the surrounding conditions, and the human suffering and culture change that accompanied them, the abrupt conclusion to the farming way of life in this region is one of the greatest disruptions in recorded history.<br><br>Much new paleoenvironmental data, and a great deal of archaeological survey and excavation, permit the fifteen scientists represented here much greater precision in determining the timing of the depopulation, the number of people affected, and the ways in which northern Pueblo peoples coped--and failed to cope--with the rapidly changing environmental and demographic conditions they encountered throughout the 1200s. In addition, some of the scientists in this volume use models to provide insights into the processes behind the patterns they find, helping to narrow the range of plausible explanations.<br><br>What emerges from these investigations is a highly pertinent story of conflict and disruption as a result of climate change, environmental degradation, social rigidity, and conflict. Taken as a whole, these contributions recognize this era as having witnessed a competition between differing social and economic organizations, in which selective migration was considerably hastened by severe climatic, environmental, and social upheaval. Moreover, the chapters show that it is at least as true that emigration led to the collapse of the northern Southwest as it is that collapse led to emigration.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiii
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  1. 1. Depopulation of the Northern San Juan Region: Historical Review and Archaeological Context
  2. pp. 1-33
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  1. 2. Depopulation of the Northern Southwest: A Macroregional Perspective
  2. pp. 34-52
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  1. 3. Tree-Ring Dates and Demographic Change in the Southern Colorado Plateau and Rio Grande Regions
  2. pp. 53-74
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  1. 4. The Climate of the Depopulation of the Northern Southwest
  2. pp. 75-101
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  1. 5. A New Paleoproductivity Reconstruction for Southwestern Colorado, and Its Implications for Understanding Thirteenth-Century Depopulation
  2. pp. 102-127
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  1. 6. The End of Farming in the “Northern Periphery” of the Southwest
  2. pp. 128-155
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  1. 7. The Impact of Long-Term Residential Occupation of Community Centers on Local Plant and Animal Resources
  2. pp. 156-179
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  1. 8. Catalysts of the Thirteenth-Century Depopulation of Sand Canyon Pueblo and the Central Mesa Verde Region
  2. pp. 180-199
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  1. 9. The Social and Cultural Contexts of the Central Mesa Verde Region during the Thirteenth-Century Migrations
  2. pp. 200-221
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  1. 10. Evidence of a Mesa Verde Homeland for the Tewa Pueblos
  2. pp. 222-261
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  1. 11. Lost in Transit: The Central Mesa Verde Archaeological Complex
  2. pp. 262-284
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  1. 12. Remodeling Immigration: A Northern Rio Grande Perspective on Depopulation, Migration, and Donation-Side Models
  2. pp. 285-323
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  1. 13. The Environmental, Demographic, and Behavioral Context of the Thirteenth-Century Depopulation of the Northern Southwest
  2. pp. 324-345
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  1. 14. Advances in Understanding the Thirteenth-Century Depopulation of the Northern Southwest
  2. pp. 346-363
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  1. References Cited
  2. pp. 365-419
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 421-428
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 429-437
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