EMAP (1995) Archaeological research on the Ladder Ranch

Part of the EMAP - Reports project

Author(s): Margaret C. Nelson; Michelle Hegmon

Year: 1995


How do human beings cope with their natural and social environments and how do they impact those environments? These issues are of great concern today, and they have been for thousands of years. Hunters and gatherers, farmers, and urban dwellers all must be concerned with their surroundings and how they are using their environment. Their success or failure, their very survival, depends on their interactions with others and with their landscape. Research on the Ladder Ranch traces the Mimbres people- their changing relationships with their land and with each other. At A.D. 1000 they were large scale farmers, living in expansive villages. Within 150 years, this way of life had come to an end. Environmental change, degradation of farmland, and social conflicts within villages may all have contributed to the demise of these centers. Prior to our research, archaeologists had argued that this was the demise of the Mimbres people. However, thanks to our research on the Ladder Ranch, we are able to trace their movements and track the changes they made to adjust to new patterns of life. The Mimbres left their centers, scattering into small groups and settling along small patches of farmland within the Mimbres region. Their patterns of farming, their social rules, and their networks all were changed, but the people maintained their tie to the land as farmers. The Mimbres people did not disappear, as many have argued, with the demise of their large village life; rather, they adopted new economic and social patterns that ensured their survival.

Cite this Record

EMAP (1995) Archaeological research on the Ladder Ranch. Margaret C. Nelson, Michelle Hegmon. EMAP Annual Report - 1995. 1995 ( tDAR id: 374746) ; doi:10.6067/XCV85T3HPM

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

File Information

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