tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Farming the Great Sage Plain: Mesa Verde Loess, Soils, and Agriculture

Author(s): Cynthia Fadem

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

The Pueblo Farming Project (PFP) seeks to preserve traditional farming knowledge and educate the public concerning traditional farming practices and the place of corn cultivation in Pueblo cultures. Soil profiles inside and adjacent to project gardens reveal the impact of farming on soils over relatively small temporal and spatial scales.

The Basketmaker Communities Project (BCP) focuses on better understanding the Basketmaker III Period, as well as the development of Early Pueblo communities. BCP geoarchaeological investigations at Basketmaker III (1250-1500 BP) sites focus on the soils’ development and tilth. Soil profiles on- and off-site demonstrate differences between farmed and un-farmed soils over larger temporal and spatial scales.

Examination of modern non-irrigation farming practices suggests intimate connections between fertility, soil identity, and management. Both PFP and BCP soils exhibit soil hardening and pan development to varying degrees. As pan accumulation limits productivity, its rate of formation is an important factor with implications for Ancient Puebloan site choice and residence time. Understanding the interplay of climate, cultural practice, and pedogenesis is, therefore key to deciphering this geocultural record.

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.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

Farming the Great Sage Plain: Mesa Verde Loess, Soils, and Agriculture. Cynthia Fadem. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398240)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

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