The Impact of Temperature on the Transition to Maize Agriculture in the Northern Upland United States Southwest
This is an abstract from the "Global Perspectives on Climate-Human Population Dynamics During the Late Holocene" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
While the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT) spread rapidly across most of Europe (~600 years) after the first introduction of domesticated plants, the NDT is much more gradual in the southwestern United States (1600–2600 years) following the first appearance of maize (ca. 2260–1990 BC). Climate had a major impact on the boom-and-bust cycles in the Southwest and likely had an impact on the adoption and intensity of maize farming, which did not move directly south to north but exhibited more of a "leapfrog" pattern. Maize dependence increases substantially in southeastern Utah during Basketmaker II (500 BC – AD 500); however, maize farming does not expand across southwestern Colorado until around AD 600. Cooler temperatures in the northern Southwest from 100 BC to about AD 600 could have contributed to the absence of maize farming. Here we use pollen data from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database to produce low-frequency temperature reconstructions using the Modern Analog Technique—implemented as part of the Synthesizing Knowledge Of Past Environments (SKOPE) project—to cover the period of the introduction of maize to heavy dependence. Reconstructing past temperatures allows for an understanding of how climate might have affected the transition to maize farming in the northern Upland United States Southwest.
Cite this Record
The Impact of Temperature on the Transition to Maize Agriculture in the Northern Upland United States Southwest. Andrew Gillreath-Brown, Kyle Bocinsky, Tim Kohler. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451447)
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min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23686