Middle Archaic Period Subsistence and Resource Use Practices in the Chuska Valley, New Mexico


This is an abstract from the "The Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project: A Multivocal Analysis of the San Juan Basin as a Cultural Landscape" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The recent discovery and investigation of a Middle Archaic period campsite in the southern Chuska Valley has provided substantial insight into the relative importance of various plant and animal resources to the mobile inhabitants of the San Juan Basin region. Data generated from the analysis of macro- and micro-botanical remains recovered from structural and thermal features and ground stone surfaces suggests the site’s inhabitants were processing a diverse assortment of local and non-local plants for consumption, while procuring numerous other species for use as structural posts or fuel sources. Pollen, phytolith, and macrofloral analyses all point to use of pine nuts, while macrofloral analysis lends insight into use of various other native plant resources. The faunal assemblage is dominated by small mammals, suggesting a focus on acquiring locally available animals for use as a protein source; however, at least a limited commitment to obtaining large mammals and possibly long-distance hunting is exhibited by the presence of medium-sized artiodactyl remains at the site. Results from botanical and faunal analyses, along with additional observations concerning lithic raw material procurement and tool-making strategies, architecture, and overall site formation processes, provide valuable information about a poorly understood time period in the San Juan Basin.

Cite this Record

Middle Archaic Period Subsistence and Resource Use Practices in the Chuska Valley, New Mexico. Jeremy Loven, Kathryn Puseman, Kye Miller, Christy Briles, John G. Jones. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452305)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -123.97; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -101.997; max lat: 46.134 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24026