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Using soil geomorphology to understand dry-farmed agriculture in eolian sediments in northeastern Arizona

Author(s): Amy Schott

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona has a long record of prehistoric occupation, including within extensive deposits of semi-stabilized dunes and sand sheets. It has been hypothesized that during the Pueblo periods, inhabitants farmed these eolian soils. Eolian sands are not typically conducive to dry-farmed agriculture; however, dune farming is known ethnographically, and has been inferred in archaeological contexts on the southern Colorado Plateau. This paper investigates underlying geology to better understand landscape conditions that may have allowed eolian deposits to be conducive to dry-farmed agriculture. Soil geomorphic studies have shown very weakly developed soils with high clay content. This paper uses clay mineralogy and micromorphology to further understand the source of the high clay content, which may have increased water holding capacity of eolian sediments. This research will contribute to a better understanding of how the area’s early farmers interacted with a dynamic eolian environment.


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Using soil geomorphology to understand dry-farmed agriculture in eolian sediments in northeastern Arizona. Amy Schott. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428907)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16629

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