Site-use intensity, cultural modification of the environment, and the development of agricultural communities in southern Arizona

Rebecca M. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Some non-prey animals, including certain rodent and bird species, are particularly good indicators of local environments, and are argued to provide an alternative way to look at the emergence of sedentism before, during, and after the transition to agriculture. With the first villages and irrigated fields, human impacts on the environment opened new ecological niches and affected the composition of local pest populations. Some of these animals would have been attracted to the new food sources available in village environments, while others may have been driven away by the destruction of their habitat. In southern Arizona, changes in archaeological pest assemblages are a source of information on the degree of site-use intensity prehistorically and how it changed through the Archaic and Hohokam cultural sequence. Faunal data from the Hohokam region suggest that the earliest farmers in the region were not significantly more sedentary than their Middle Archaic predecessors, and indeed site-use intensity did not increase substantially until well after the introduction of domestic plants. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-431
Number of pages29
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

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