Pyric Herbivory in Ancient North America

Author(s): Christopher Roos

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "HumAnE Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Fire is a powerful tool for hunting because fire effects have important consequences on habitat and forage for prey species. Using case studies from the northern Great Plains and the Southwest US, I explore how fire-use positively impacted prey abundances or location, resulting in higher encounter rates for particular hunting strategies. Specifically, these case studies document the use of fire to purposefully manipulate bison herds in Montana and, perhaps indirectly, manipulate the location and abundance of ungulates in New Mexico – a strategy that is called pyric herbivory. Using geoarchaeological methods to reconstruct fire use and its impacts on prey populations, we can document variability in human-fire-animal relationships by American Indian populations in North America.

Cite this Record

Pyric Herbivory in Ancient North America. Christopher Roos. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451584)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23069