Using Surface Archaeology to Estimate Ancestral Jemez Population Dynamics, AD 1300-1700

Author(s): Adam Stack; Matt Liebmann; Sarah Martini

Year: 2015


Determining the population of ancestral Pueblo villages has beguiled inquisitive observers from the 16th century down to the present day. Spanish explorers and colonial settlers floated wildly variable population estimates upon their initial visits to Pueblo villages. Today archaeologists are no different, offering demographic estimates that often differ by orders of magnitude. This "population problem" plagues the Jemez region of northern New Mexico in particular. In this paper, we present the results of our recent attempts to estimate the populations of large ancestral Jemez villages using surface maps generated from UAV (drone) data, LiDAR, and intensive ceramic sampling. We begin from historically documented examples (Pueblo villages dating to the post-1680 period), deriving a formula to estimate total floor area based on extant surface remains. We then apply those estimates to the large Jemez pueblos of the Classic Period (AD 1300-1600) and the early historic (AD 1600-1700) era to derive maximum population estimates.

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Cite this Record

Using Surface Archaeology to Estimate Ancestral Jemez Population Dynamics, AD 1300-1700. Adam Stack, Sarah Martini, Matt Liebmann. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395234)


Spatial Coverage

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