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Numic Fire: Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Fire on Foraging Decisions in the Great Basin

Author(s): Brian Codding ; Kate Magargal ; Kenneth Vernon ; Will Rath ; Ashley Grimes

Year: 2015

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Summary

Ethnohistoric accounts suggest that fire played a significant role in Great Basin foraging strategies; however, there is little quantitative data on why, where, or when people burned. To begin to fill this gap, we develop a behavioral ecological model designed to test predictions about the impact of anthropogenic fires on hunter-gatherer diet breadth. We conduct an ethnographic test of the model using historic band-level variation in prey choice coupled with ecological data on variation in the abundance of high ranking resources across the region. The results of our study will help to explain the evolution of anthropogenic landscapes and lay the foundations for future archaeological studies examining the dynamics of anthropogenic fire regimes in the Great Basin.

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Numic Fire: Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Fire on Foraging Decisions in the Great Basin. Kenneth Vernon, Kate Magargal, Ashley Grimes, Will Rath, Brian Codding. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397858)


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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