General Resources from the Long Term Vulnerability and Transformation Project


Long-Term Coupled Socioecological Change in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico: Each generation transforms an inherited social and environmental world and leaves it as a legacy to succeeding generations. Long-term interactions among social and ecological processes give rise to complex dynamics on multiple temporal and spatial scales – cycles of change followed by relative stasis, followed by change. Within the cycles are understandable patterns and irreducible uncertainties; neither stability nor transformation can be taken as the norm. Archaeology is attuned to cycles over the lifespan of a society and, thus, extends scientific observation beyond all social memory. The ancient past might appear irrelevant in light of the globalization and rapid technological changes that characterize today's world. However, the archaeological record is replete with cycles of heightened intersocietal interaction, economic intensification, and large-scale anthropogenic environmental change.

This interdisciplinary collaboration of archaeologists, mathematical modelers, ecologists, and environmental scientists will apply archaeological and ecological analyses, resilience theory, and formal dynamical modeling to identify the key social and ecological variables, and their interconnections, that foster stability and promote transformation in coupled socio-ecological systems. We will examine three domains: the degree and nature of capitalization; the loci and nature of vulnerabilities; and the severity, scale, and nature of transformations. Our focus will be long-term human-environmental interactions in archaeologically documented case studies in the American Southwest (Mimbres, Zuni, Hohokam) and Northern Mexico (La Quemada).

To gain pan-regional perspective, we rely on collaborators to draw upon five additional cultural traditions that illustrate a spectrum of local climatic conditions, organizational complexity, water-control technologies, and other anthropogenic environmental modifications. These cutlural traditions include: Chaco, Mesa Verde, Casas Grandes, Pazcuaro, and Salinas.

Cite this Record

General Resources from the Long Term Vulnerability and Transformation Project. ( tDAR id: 95) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8XK8GXF

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 400 to 1600

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.676; min lat: 17.141 ; max long: -98.613; max lat: 35.461 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Margaret Nelson

Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation

Prepared By(s): Arizona State University (ASU)

This Resource is Part of the Following User Created Collections

Resources Inside this Project (Viewing 1-8 of 8)


  1. Sustaining Irrigation Agriculture for the Long-Term: Lessons on Maintaining Soil Quality from Ancient Agricultural Fields in the Phoenix Basin and on the North Coast of Peru (2013)


  1. Decorated Ceramics from Excavated Mimbres Sites (2007)
  2. Hohokam Population Database (2006)
  3. Raw Data for Soils Collected on the Pampa de Chaparri on the North Coast of Peru (2010)
  4. Raw Data on Soils Collected from Prehispanic and Historic Fields on the Middle Gila River (2013)
  5. Salinas, New Mexico Settlement Database (2007)
  6. Settlement and Demography in the Greater Mimbres Region (2007)
  7. Synthesis of Salinas Pueblo Glazeware Sources from Petrographic Analyses (2008)