Movement, Connectivity and Landscape Change in the Ancient Southwest
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University Press of Colorado
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Archaeological research in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico is intense and fascinating. We feel privileged to have been able to organize this group of outstanding scholars in the 20th Anniversary Southwest Symposium and to bring their ideas together in this volume. Thanks to all the scholars who presented these papers at the Southwest Symposium and prepared them for publication. Every person responded ...
1: Changing Histories, Landscapes, and Perspectives: The 20th Anniversary Southwest Symposium
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The U.S. Southwest arguably has the highest density of archaeologists in the Americas, with hundreds of surveys and excavations conducted annually. In 1927 the Pecos Conference was established by A. V. Kidder as the meeting place for Southwest archaeologists and has continued as a vital and successful annual gathering, focused on recent findings from the region. In 1988, two leading archaeologists, Paul Minnis and Charles ...
Part I: Past and Present Issues
2: Ten Millennia, Twenty Years Later
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We are not sure if we ever thought about how long the Southwest1 Symposium would exist, but we are gratified that it seems to have served the community of Southwestern archaeologists for more than two decades. Despite the best efforts of our many colleagues who helped during the first meeting—and there were many who did—the beginning of the Southwest Symposium was not without an occasional bump. While ...
3: Foraging Societies in an Arid Environment: Coping with Change in the Greater Southwest
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The traditional Southwestern Culture Area was primarily defined by the spatial distribution of agricultural societies who lived among the plateaus and deserts of the region. However, a variety of foraging societies surrounded the area—including California, the Desert West, Great Basin, Rocky Mountains, and the Plains and bush country of south Texas—and foraging societies lived throughout the Southwest prior to, and in some ...
4: Moving on the Landscape: Mobility and Migration
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Twenty years ago, archaeologists had not grappled sufficiently with mobility and sedentism, especially Late Archaic sedentism and post-Archaic mobility. Today, the concepts of mobility and sedentism are commonly used, following much research since the first Southwest Symposium in 1988. Southwestern archaeologists now see mobility as a variable strategy practiced to different extents and at different times as circumstances, both ...
5: Rethinking Social Power and Inequality in the Aboriginal Southwest/Northwest
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For the archaeologists who attended the 1988 Southwest Symposium in Tempe, few issues were more contested or more volatile than that of social power and inequality among prehispanic peoples. In the early 1980s this issue had erupted in the Grasshopper–Chavez Pass debate, and tempers were running hot. Indeed, during the first four Southwest Symposia, floor fights between advocates of each side provided ...
6: Demographic Issues of the Protohistoric Period
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The Protohistoric period offers researchers a wide array of major challenges and a wealth of exciting opportunities. Given that, it is frustrating that the pace of new research is not more intense. In this review I focus on three major demographic issues that come together in the Protohistoric period and explore some of their implications. Also, a number of changes in the world of archaeology merit consideration—most important, ...
7: Remembering Archaeology’s Past: Perspectives on People and Process
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Historical narratives have proliferated in both number and kind ever since the session on the history of Southwestern archaeology at the first Southwest Symposium. Today, books, festschrifts, articles, interest groups, and dedicatory symposia at regional and national meetings are abundant. This explosion of reflexivity is all the more remarkable because the baby boomers have yet to reach full retirement. In our history of research at...
Part II: Landscape Use and Ecological Change
8: Landscape Change: Archaeological Perspectives on the Legacy of Human-Environmental Interactions in the U.S. Southwest
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George Perkins Marsh—Vermont-born attorney, foreign diplomat, philologist, and keen observer of human-environmental interactions—published an important book in 1864 entitled Man and Nature. Marsh revised and republished the book in 1874 and again in 1885 under a new title, The Earth as Modified by Human Action: Man and Nature, Marsh's intent...
9: Anthropogenic Ecology in the American Southwest: The Plant Perspective
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The nature and longevity of human modifications to natural landscapes can be examined through the arena of humans and their interactions with plants and plant communities in the prehispanic American Southwest. One major challenge to this effort is that both humans and nature are capable of altering natural landscapes to varying degrees. These effects can operate simultaneously or independently of each other at any...
10: Soil and Landscape Responses to American Indian Agriculture in the Southwest
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Soil forms the base of agriculture and thus has been subject to change since farming began in the American Southwest approximately four millennia ago. Soil change as a result of agriculture is complex and wide-ranging in kind, magnitude, and scales of space and time, encompassing many processes and outcomes ( Johnson and Lewis 1995; Sandor, Burras, and Thompson 2005). The archaeological record provides an important ...
11: Investigating the Consequences of Long-Term Human Predation of R-Selected Species: Experiments in the Upland Southwest
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When considering predator-prey relationships among animal species, ecologists commonly rely on optimal foraging theory (Stephens and Krebs 1986) to guide their hypotheses. Optimal foraging theory is also used in studies of human predation (Simms 1987), wherein hunters are expected to pursue the most rewarding prey available because they provide the greatest nutritional return for the energy expended in the ...
12: Human Impacts on Animal Populations in the American Southwest
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Native Americans of the American Southwest consumed a predominantly vegetarian diet (e.g., Matson and Chisholm 1991), but animals were important sources of protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins (Mann 2000; Spielmann and Angstadt-Leto 1996; Wing and Brown 1979). The supply of meat was a critical limiting factor in human nutrition and health but also probably played a role in human perception of the quality of life in ...
13: Legacies on the Landscape: The Enduring Effects of Long-Term Human-Ecosystem Interactions
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The Legacies on the Landscape Project is an ongoing collaboration between ecology and archaeology faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students at Arizona State University. The project was born out of the recognition that strongly integrated interdisciplinary research was essential for understanding human-ecosystem interactions. Our particular case study is focused on understanding the long-term legacy of prehistoric human land ...
14: Linking the Past with the Present: Resources, Land Use, and the Collapse of Civilizations
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The human role in the extinction of species and degradation of ecosystems is well documented. Since European settlement in North America and especially after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have witnessed a substantial decline in the biological diversity of native taxa and profound changes in assemblages of the remaining species. We have ripped minerals from the earth, often bringing down mountains in the ...
Part 3: Movement and Ethnogenesis
15: A Framework for Controlled Comparisons of Ancient Southwestern Movement
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After a period of relative neglect, migration and population movement is once again a dominant research theme in Southwestern archaeology. We believe this resurgence derives from a number of factors. One is the more effective and regular communication between archaeologists and American Indians in recent years. About ten years ago, one of us was involved in a consultation in which the question “what can archaeologists...
16: Becoming Hopi, Becoming Tiwa: Two Pueblo Histories of Movement
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In the Rio Grande Gorge is a large boulder on which have been pecked two parallel rows of dots extending roughly two meters across the rock face. It is a simple design, easily set to the side by archaeologists as semantically impenetrable and aniconic. Recently, however, a Pueblo consultant offered a more careful reading, suggesting that such petroglyphs are reminiscent of the rows of corn kernels laid on kiva floors in the recitation ...
17: Standing Out Versus Blending In: Pueblo Migrations and Ethnic Marking
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Movement of varying distances across the landscape has long been recognized as an adaptation to Southwestern environments (Nelson 1999; Varien 1999). Larger-scale, longer-distance movements are often attributed to environmental and economic factors that exert a “push” or a “pull” (Anthony 1990, 1992; Lipe 1995). In reality, however, each movement involves complex social processes that may differ depending on ...
18: Ancestral Pueblo Migrations in the Southern Southwest: Perspectives from Arizona and New Mexico
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Past and recent investigations in the San Pedro Valley of southern Arizona have provided compelling evidence of two successive migrations from the Ancestral Pueblo world into the eastern portion of the Hohokam world within the period 1100 to 1400 (all dates are AD). Concurrent investigations in the Rio Alamosa drainage of west-central New Mexico have also suggested two successive migrations from the Ancestral Pueblo world ...
19: Ensouled Places: Ethnogenesis and the Making of the Din�tah and Tewa Basin Landscapes
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The ethnogenesis of the Navajo and the Tewa provides a striking comparison—the final movement of Ancestral Pueblo peoples from the northern San Juan region in the late thirteenth century is simultaneously both the event and the process that ultimately trigger the emergence of these groups as distinct cultural communities. We examine how the landscape of the Four Corners became a landscape of distant memory for the Tewa ...
20: Themes and Models for Understanding Migration in the Southwest
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In 1994, at the Fourth Biennial Southwest Symposium also held in Tempe, Catherine Cameron organized a session on migration and movement, which was published as a special issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology the following year (Cameron 1995). That session focused on pushes and pulls, on identifying where migrations occurred, and mostly on the causes rather than the social consequences of migration. ...
Part IV: Connectivity and Scale
21: Connectivity and Scale in the Greater American Southwest
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Archaeology is often maligned for focusing on seemingly myopic issues, whether topical, geographical, or methodological. Many an office door displays a tattered Calvin and Hobbes comic strip in which an exasperated Calvin, after having excavated for only a few minutes, exclaims, “Archaeologists have the most mind-numbing job on the planet.” Fortunately, in recent years the discipline has made a concerted effort to be more ...
22: Irrigation Communities and Communities in Diaspora
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In this chapter we examine two related case studies. The first focuses on the collapse of the late Classic period (AD 1300–1450) Hohokam irrigation communities of the lower Salt River Valley (Figure 22.1) and reveals the downside of connectivity—unintended, sometimes gravely serious consequences. In the second, we posit the development of a feasting tradition among Kayenta groups in diasporic cells throughout the Hohokam ...
23: Anchoring Identities: Iconic Landforms across San Juan Time and Space
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Place attachments are one dimension through which groups of individuals may set themselves apart from others. Common social identities may be forged around past or present associations with real or imagined places. As ancient peoples moved across the Southwest landscape, highly visible landforms may have provided one way for people to retain symbolic connections to homelands, distant relatives, and each other. In this ...
24: Ritual Places and Pilgrimages: Movement, Connectivity, and Landscape
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The American Southwest is often signified in popular imagination by spectacular and unusual places like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and White Sands. Many of the Southwest’s iconic natural places are not simply amazing feats of geomorphology, however. They are also vitally important in the cosmology, self-image, and ritual practices of Native peoples (Anschuetz 2007; Basso 1996; Ferguson and Hart 1985; Nabokov ...
25: The Past Is Now: Hopi Connections to Ancient Times and Places
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Imagine for a moment a beautiful late summer day in the desert of northwestern New Mexico. Billowy white clouds amble on the horizon, set against a translucent indigo sky. A gentle, cool wind presses against our skin. We are standing at the edge of the Chaco River at a bend, the muddy-blue water flowing softly, steadily below. We are with four Hopi cultural advisers at the beginning of a week-long study of traditional ...
26: Historiography and Archaeological Theory at Bigger Scales
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To decide who gets the money, the National Science Foundation (NSF) evaluates two criteria: “intellectual merit” and “broader impacts.” Intellectual merit is demonstrated by archaeologists convincing other archaeologists that their research is hot. That is as it should be. Broader impacts typically address several proximate audiences: closely related academic disciplines, our students, descendant communities, newspapers, and ...
27: Connectivity, Landscape, and Scale
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The 2008 Southwest Symposium was a fitting tribute for the twentieth anniversary of the conference, with a series of papers that reconsidered key issues and provided new perspectives on Southwestern archaeology. My task here is to provide commentary on the five papers presented in the conference’s final session on Connectivity, organized by John Kantner. For the session, connectivity was defined as “the influence of actions and ...
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Page Count: 448
Illustrations: 77 illustrations
Publication Year: 2008