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Late Holocene Research on Foragers and Farmers in the Desert West

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Copyright: March 2016
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 216 pp.
Illustrations: 19 illustrations, 13 maps



Late Holocene Research on Foragers and Farmers in the Desert West

Edited by Barbara J. Roth and Maxine E. McBrinn

Archaeology / Anthropology

This book brings together the work of archaeologists investigating prehistoric hunter-gatherers (foragers) and early farmers in both the Southwest and the Great Basin. Most previous work on this topic has been regionally specific, with researchers from each area favoring a different theoretical approach and little shared dialogue. Here the studies of archaeologists working in both the Southwest and the Great Basin are presented side by side to illustrate the similarities in environmental challenges and cultural practices of the prehistoric peoples who lived in these areas and to explore common research questions addressed by both regions.

Three main themes link these papers: the role of the environment in shaping prehistoric behavior, flexibilityin foraging and farming adaptations, and diversity in settlement strategies. Contributors cover a range of topics including the varied ways hunter-gatherers adapted to arid environments, the transition to farming and the reasons for it, the variation in early farming across the Southwest and Great Basin, and the differing paths followed as they developed settled villages.

Barbara J. Roth is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has studied hunter-gatherer adaptations in the southern Southwest and the transition from hunting and gathering to farming for much of her career.

Maxine E. McBrinn is curator of archaeology at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is also a research associate at the Field Museum in Chicago and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She has studied hunter-gatherers primarily in the Mogollon region and the northern Southwest.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Introduction: Foragers and Early Farmers in the Desert West – Maxine E. McBrinn and Barbara J. Roth

2. Early Farming and the Fate of Archaic Hunter-Gatherers in the Albuquerque Basin – Jim A. Railey

3. Resistant Foragers: Foraging and Maize Cultivation in the Northern Rio Grande Valley – Bradley J. Vierra and Maxine E. McBrinn

4. Deconstructing the Early Agricultural Period in Southern 

Arizona – Stephanie M. Whittlesey

5. Were They Sedentary and Does It Matter? Early Farmers in the Tucson Basin – Barbara J. Roth

6. Farming, Foraging, and Remote Storage in Range Creek: Shifting Strategies of Maize Cultivation, Residential Mobility, and Food Storage in Cliff Granaries among the Fremont of the Northern Colorado Plateau – K. Renee Barlow

7. Fremont Farming: The Nature of Cultivation in Northwestern Colorado, 2000–500 BP – A. Dudley Gardner and William R. Gardner

8. Farmers on the Go: A Forager-Farmer Model for the Las Vegas Valley, Southern Nevada – Heidi Roberts and Richard V. N. Ahlstrom

9. Late Fremont Cultural Identities and Borderland Processes – Michael T. Searcy and Richard K. Talbot

10. Evolving Patterns of Villages in the Southwestern Mojave Desert, California – Mark Q. Sutton

List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“The authors provide an array of articles that highlight parallels in Southwestern and Great Basin research and show how theoretical approaches commonly used in one region may be usefully applied to the other. The papers illustrate through example, rather than by being prescriptive.”
—Andrew Ugan, Far West Anthropology Research Group

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