Zooarchaeological Evidence of Human Niche Construction at the Harris Site (LA 1867)

Author(s): Kristin Corl

Year: 2023


This is an abstract from the "Mogollon, Mimbres, and Salado Archaeology in Southwest New Mexico and Beyond" session, at the 88th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Harris Site (LA 1867) is a Late Pithouse period (AD 550–1000) agricultural village located along the upper Mimbres River Valley in New Mexico. This period is seen as a time of great demographic and social change linked to changes in the environment. This site provides an excellent case study looking at increased dependence on agriculture and the animal communities associated with this type of subsistence strategy. To what degree did the modified environment associated with increased agricultural dependence effect the animals people relied on for food? A wide variety of animals were represented in the assemblage that reflect the natural biodiversity found in the surrounding region suggesting a variety of cultural and subsistence behaviors. However, zooarchaeological data and relative taxonomic abundance revealed three targeted taxonomic groups: rabbits, deer, and rodents. Ethnographic evidence shows that populations of these taxonomic groups increase with the expansion of cultivated fields and other human disturbed environments. Together with the wide variety of birds and wetland related species this data helps to paint a more complete picture of the ways in which the surrounding environment of the Harris Village niche was constructed, maintained, and changed through the occupation of the site.

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeological Evidence of Human Niche Construction at the Harris Site (LA 1867). Kristin Corl. Presented at The 88th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2023 ( tDAR id: 474045)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -123.97; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -92.549; max lat: 37.996 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 37583.0