A Natural and Unnatural History of Faunal Change in Southwestern New Mexico since AD 500
An important intersection between archaeology and the study of natural history lies in understanding the long-term processes of human-environment interaction that affected local biotas in the past and have shaped contemporary landscapes. This study integrates information from archaeological faunal assemblages and historic and modern data from the major watersheds of southwestern New Mexico—specifically, the upper Gila-San Francisco and Mimbres drainages—to examine changes in the status and distributions of animals and their environments over the past 1500 years of human occupation. Using this approach we seek to clarify the roles the presence and activities of prehispanic farmers, the subsequent effects of Europeans and their livestock, and concurrent climatic factors have played in this region’s contemporary faunas and landscapes. Contributing a clearer understanding of changes to local faunas and their environments over long periods of time can assist contemporary restoration efforts by providing more realistic benchmarks for emulating prior states of land health.
Cite this Record
A Natural and Unnatural History of Faunal Change in Southwestern New Mexico since AD 500. Karen Schollmeyer, S. O. MacDonald. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431504)
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min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15957