Through fire and water: the vulnerability and resilience of highland Ancestral Puebloan communities to prehistoric droughts in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico
Author(s): Michael Aiuvalasit
Establishing causality between climate change and cultural history is often fraught by mismatched temporal scales and weak archaeological correlates. In the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico the abandonment of large villages on the Pajarito Plateau in the early 16th century has largely been attributed to drought, however the persistence of large communities on the adjacent Jemez Plateau, which shares similar climate histories, ecological settings, and prehistoric adaptations, has not been considered. Water storage features were built adjacent to large villages in both regions. I argue that the use-life histories of these features serve as a proxy for communal management strategies to buffer the vulnerability of water scarcity. I will present the preliminary results of geoarchaeological investigations of six reservoirs on the Jemez Plateau and a regional paleohydrological reconstruction to evaluate whether prehistoric "mega-droughts" induced periods of water scarcity for Ancestral Puebloan communities, and assess if the construction and use of reservoirs enhanced the resilience of communities to droughts.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
Cite this Record
Through fire and water: the vulnerability and resilience of highland Ancestral Puebloan communities to prehistoric droughts in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico. Michael Aiuvalasit. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395235)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;