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Escaping Collapse in Northwest Mexico: Social and Environmental Factors of Resiliency at La Ferrería, Durango, Mexico

Author(s): Andrew Somerville ; Jose Luis Punzo Díaz

Year: 2016

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Summary

The end of the Mesoamerican Classic Period (ca. AD 900) was a time characterized by widespread social change, political upheaval, and broad regional drought conditions. In Northwest Mexico, several large centers such as La Quemada and Alta Vista were abandoned and never reoccupied. The site of La Ferrería in the Guadiana Valley of Durango, however, remained an important site for several centuries into the Postclassic Period. This presentation explores the social and environmental factors that may have contributed to the resiliency of this center during a time of broader demographic reorganization. We present survey data from the Guadiana Valley to explore variations in population between the Classic and Postclassic occupations of the region and discuss La Ferreria’s trade connections with coastal communities over time. Finally, we present stable carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotope results from cottontail and jackrabbit bones to explore environmental change through time. Preliminary results demonstrate that La Ferrería experienced increases in long distance trade, population growth, and wetter conditions around AD 900, suggesting that the Valley enjoyed favorable environmental conditions and may have served as a commercial center and refuge for populations displaced by political upheavals, violence, or drought in neighboring regions.


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Escaping Collapse in Northwest Mexico: Social and Environmental Factors of Resiliency at La Ferrería, Durango, Mexico. Andrew Somerville, Jose Luis Punzo Díaz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403915)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

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