Palynological Investigations of 17th Century Spanish Colonialism and Ecological Change at LA 20,000, New Mexico
Author(s): Anya Gruber
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
This talk will use archaeological pollen data from LA 20,000, a Spanish rancho site located approximately 12 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to investigate how Pueblo and Spanish environmental alteration made long-term, complex changes to the landscape. By identifying and quantifying pollen taxa, this research will demonstrate how plant population fluctuations near LA 20,000 indicate localized ecological shifts. These patterns are then understood within the context of cultural activities, particularly, agricultural and pastoral practices. This research also seeks to dispel myths of the Native American ‘noble savage’ living in harmony with a ‘pristine Nature’; rather, signatures of a marshy and meadow-like pre-Hispanic environment show a Pueblo-modified environment prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Furthermore, though the Spanish instituted agro-pastoral practices that heavily modified the environment, it was a slow process that took place over time, rather than a rapid and immediate change. Spanish introduction of intensified wheat agriculture and animal grazing led to a drier, more heavily disturbed landscape with increased populations of ruderal weeds and fewer riparian trees and shrubs.
Cite this Record
Palynological Investigations of 17th Century Spanish Colonialism and Ecological Change at LA 20,000, New Mexico. Anya Gruber. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449645)
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min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24054