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Human Ecology and the Economy: Illogical Responses to Resource Risk in Southern Nevada

Author(s): Tim Ferguson

Year: 2015

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Research in the Virgin Branch Puebloan region indicates that during the middle Pueblo II Period there were strong socio-economic mechanisms linking the lowlands in southern Nevada to the uplands on the Arizona Strip. Ties between these areas are demonstrated by the presence of large numbers of ceramics produced in the uplands that have been recovered from lowland sites. Traditional ecological and economic models suggest that these trade networks may have been a way to reduce risk by diversifying the resource base; however, by the end of the early Pueblo III Period the trade networks with the uplands had collapsed. Coincident with the collapse of these networks there was an increase in the production of Tusayan Virgin Series ceramics in the lowlands. Compositional analysis were undertaken to understand if Tusayan Virgin Series ceramics were being traded between southern Nevada and the St. George Basin during the Pueblo III period to counteract the loss of a diverse resource base after the collapse of the trade networks with the uplands. This study proposes that Tusayan Virgin Series ceramics were not traded between the two regions. This suggests that ecological models of the economy may not fit preconceived notions of logical responses.

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Human Ecology and the Economy: Illogical Responses to Resource Risk in Southern Nevada. Tim Ferguson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394848)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America