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Relationships among Foraging Efficiency, Agricultural Investment, and Human Health in Fremont Societies

Author(s): Mike Cannon ; Lisa Krussow

Year: 2016

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Summary

Marked variability in subsistence strategies has been noted throughout the Fremont archaeological culture. Previously, we have explored such variability by using data on baseline environmental productivity, zooarchaeological evidence for resource depression, and archaeological measures of the importance of agriculture to test the hypothesis that agricultural investment among the Fremont varied inversely with local environmental productivity. Data from throughout the Fremont region are consistent with this general hypothesis in one way or another, though intra-regional variability is indicated in the specific factors that led individuals to allocate time to farming. Data from the Uintah Basin appear to be consistent with the hypothesis that agriculture was a response to resource depression, whereas in the Eastern Great Basin, it appears that agriculture was, in part, a response to some factor associated with greater available moisture, possibly higher agricultural yields. Such intra-regional differences in economic contexts may have had important implications for human health, and we explore these here by examining osteological evidence of malnutrition. Specifically, we present an initial test of the hypothesis that human health was poorer in parts of the Fremont region where wild resource foraging efficiency was lower and where agriculture was primarily a response to that lower foraging efficiency.


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Relationships among Foraging Efficiency, Agricultural Investment, and Human Health in Fremont Societies. Mike Cannon, Lisa Krussow. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403449)


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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