EMAP (1993) Abandonment or Reorganization A Study of Prehistoric Change in the Eastern Mimbres Region

Part of the EMAP - Reports project

Author(s): Margaret C. Nelson

Year: 1993


This report presents information on the research goals of the excavations and general outline of the theoretical orientation, a synopsis of results from chronometric and cross-dating, summary descriptions of the architectural information from the pueblo rooms, and summary information from the faunal and ethnobotanical analysis. Excavation data establish that the surface structures were constructed by at least the early 11th century, prior to the abandonment of large villages. These small pueblos changed in size and organization with the collapse of the Mimbres system in A.D. 1130 - 1150. The pueblos increased in size and more accomodation was made for domestic activities. A pattern of continuity in the reuse of the sites is suggested. Little change in food selection is indicated, but dramatic changes occurred with inter-regional interactions.

The final section of this report is a request for continued funding to expand the excavation program. I propose excavation of a second cluster of small pueblos to which these can be compared. This cluster contains three sites of similar time period, one of which is slightly larger than those excavated to date. The cluster is located ca 20 km upstream from those excavated in 1991. Their excavation will provide important information on the occupational history of a less arid portion of the study area for comparison with the data from 1991. Two questions remain unanswered: 1) Were the agriculturalists dispersed in small settlements in the eastern region all living in these residences for short periods of time, as argued from the 1991 site data, or were those living in the less arid areas more residentially stable? As I have argued in the report which follows, adaptations should be variable within a village and region. Understanding this variability is key to understanding the dispersed settlement of agriculturalists in arid settings. 2) Were people moving among various small pueblos on an annual cycle or a multi-year cycle or occupying the entire region only seasonally? As the data from the 1991 excavation indicate, occupation of the three excavated sites along the lower portion of the drainage was short-term but regular. In addition, the ethnobotanical data indicate focus on the agricultural season, late spring to early fall. Ethnobotanical and architectural data from the second cluster of sites can be compared to those from the 1991 excavations to determine the extent to which they represent a similar or complementary pattern of seasonality.

Cite this Record

EMAP (1993) Abandonment or Reorganization A Study of Prehistoric Change in the Eastern Mimbres Region. Margaret C. Nelson. 1993 ( tDAR id: 374320) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8RV0M07

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.428; min lat: 32.927 ; max long: -107.356; max lat: 32.982 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Michelle Hegmon; Margaret C. Nelson

Sponsor(s): National Geographic Society

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