Paleoenvironment, Population, and the Origins of Resource Intensification on the Eastern Edge of the Colorado Plateau
This is an abstract from the "Geoarchaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Site 5ME13127, a Formative-Era camp at the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, was excavated in 2018. Macrofloral and faunal analyses indicate small seeds and lagomorphs dominated subsistence by AD320-420, and the bow was adopted by AD560-650. Sediment cores from Kannah Creek fen on Grand Mesa (27km southeast) provide paleoenvironmental context for interpretations of the site. Fluctuations in relative humification and organic content of peat provide proxies for effective moisture and temperature, respectively. The summed probability distribution curve for archaeological radiocarbon dates in the Northern Colorado River Basin provides a population proxy. The Formative was characterized by steadily increasing population beginning 400BC. From 200BC-AD400, generally warm and dry conditions were punctuated by two episodes of significant drought, the latter occurring during the initial occupation of the site at AD300-400. Severe drought coincident with increasing population may have compelled resource intensification, which once established, continued during a long period of more mesic conditions and rapid population growth from AD400-1000. Many of the technological and economic innovations that define the beginning of the Formative reflect reliance on less nutritionally dense resources and increased efficiency in resource procurement. These technological innovations acquired during drought-related resource shortages were retained even when conditions ameliorated.
Cite this Record
Paleoenvironment, Population, and the Origins of Resource Intensification on the Eastern Edge of the Colorado Plateau. Kevin P. Gilmore, Donald G. Sullivan, Maria Caffrey. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450772)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Abstract Id(s): 26188