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Divergent Histories: Prehistoric Use of Alpine Habitats in the Toquima and Toiyabe Ranges, Central Great Basin

Author(s): Tod Hildebrandt

Year: 2015

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Summary

Alpine villages are extremely rare in the Great Basin. To date, villages located at elevations above 10,000 ft. are only known to occur in the White Mountains and the Toquima Range. Demographic forcing and climatic change has been used to explain the existence of these villages, but these propositions do not identify more specific selective pressures that led to the establishment of high-elevation villages in some ranges but not others. Comparison of artifact distributions and environmental structure in the Toquima Range, where a village exists, and the Toiyabe Range, where one does not, supports the notion that alpine villages may have been subsidized by intensive exploitation of mid-elevation pinyon groves associated with low-cost travel corridors, which facilitated transport of pine nuts to upland village locations. This study also reveals that limber pine may have played a role in alpine village subsistence, and identifies the need for further research on the value of this resource.

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Divergent Histories: Prehistoric Use of Alpine Habitats in the Toquima and Toiyabe Ranges, Central Great Basin. Tod Hildebrandt. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395982)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

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