Landscape Legacies in Central Arizona: Archaeologists and Ecologists Working Together

Author(s): Melissa Kruse-Peeples

Year: 2017


Archaeologists have long used environmental data to reconstruct the past. Recently, environmental scientists have come to realize the value of incorporating archaeological viewpoints in understanding modern ecological systems. It has been shown that human activities, even those that are relatively non-intensive, have the potential to result in long-lasting ecological transformations. Cross-disciplinary alliances between archaeologists and environmental scientists are necessary if we are to truly understand the modern and future trajectory of ecological systems. One outstanding example of such an alliance is the Legacies on the Landscape Project spearheaded by Katherine Spielmann. Working together, not just borrowing from other disciplines, a collaborative team of archaeologists, soil scientists, and plant ecologists developed innovative research designs to study the Perry Mesa landscape in Central Arizona and document the long-term ecological transformations. In this paper I will provide an overview of the collaborative process of this project and review the document the ecosystem changes brought about by the 13th and 14th century occupation by sedentary agriculturalists. Conclusions will focus on the ways in which the collaborative alliance has helped to advance the fields of archaeology and ecology.

Cite this Record

Landscape Legacies in Central Arizona: Archaeologists and Ecologists Working Together. Melissa Kruse-Peeples. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430954)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17192