New Methods for Understanding the Southwest Archaic: A Density Dependent Approach to Prehistoric Behavior


The nature of the Southwestern Archaic record, reflecting several thousand years of occupation by small mobile foraging groups, provides a crucial methodological and a conceptual dilemma for archaeologists working in the area. At the heart of this dilemma is the relationship between this kind of archaeological record and the concept of the archaeological site, which is central to contemporary thinking. As broadly defined, an archaeological site may be "any place of any size where there are found traces of human activity or occupation." In practice however, in the Southwest and elsewhere, the site tends to be a specific geographical locality with implied or identified boundaries ("site size"), often containing one or more structures, features, bone piles, etc. In recent studies a "site" is often located at specific distance relationships or other similar "sites," resources, etc. Throughout most of the development of Southwest archaeology, this was a sufficient pragmatic usage and it is certainly deeply embedded in the literature. Recently, the concept has become codified and rigidified in the burgeoning legislation related to the National Register and to Cultural Resource Management archaeology.

Cite this Record

New Methods for Understanding the Southwest Archaic: A Density Dependent Approach to Prehistoric Behavior. Cynthia Irwin-Williams, Pat Hicks, Kenneth Rozen, Nell Ripley. 1980 ( tDAR id: 390835) ; doi:10.6067/XCV83R0TP1

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: -5500 to 400 (Oshara Tradition / Archaic)

Calendar Date: 400 to 700 (Basketmaker)

Calendar Date: -9500 to -6000 (Paleoindian)

Calendar Date: 700 to 850 (Pueblo I)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.136; min lat: 35.228 ; max long: -106.625; max lat: 35.653 ;


Redaction Note: All information on site location is considered confidential and has been redacted to protect the integrity of a site. Researchers interested in site locations can contact the principal investagator.

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