Numic Fire: Biogeography of Foragers and Fire in the Great Basin

Author(s): Brian Codding; Ashley Grimes

Year: 2015


Fire is increasingly recognized as a central evolutionary force shaping the earth’s ecosystems. This is especially observable in the fire-prone American West, where indigenous populations frequently used low-intensity burns to modify their habitats for myriad purposes. Given the variability of environments within the Great Basin, the effects of anthropogenic burning  likely had different impacts depending on local ecological and subsistence contexts. To understand where and why anthropogenic fires may have had a significant impact within the region, we examine 1) the distribution of people across the cultural Great Basin at the time of contact, 2) environmental variation in habitats, and 3) the estimated wildfire frequency.

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Numic Fire: Biogeography of Foragers and Fire in the Great Basin. Ashley Grimes, Brian Codding. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397680)

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Spatial Coverage

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