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2009 Abstracts

16th Biennial Jornada Mogollon Archaeology Conference  (El Paso, Texas; October 2009)

The Keystone Dam Site: Archaic Structures and Early Southwestern Communities

Bradley Vierra

The Keystone Dam sites contain the largest cluster of Middle Archaic period structures in the Southwest. This paper provides a review of the Keystone Dam Site, including information on context, occupational history, features, and artifact assemblage. These data will be placed in a regional framework, with comparisons being made with Archaic period habitation sites along the Rio Grande corridor and early village communities in the Tucson Basin, Arizona, and Chihuahua, Mexico. The discussion concludes with a review of why the tempo for the transition from the Middle to Late Archaic period appears to be quite different for these Borderland areas.


An Early Mesilla Phase Village on the Organ Mountains Alluvial Fans, Fort Bliss: LA 152064

Christine Ward

The Mesilla phase (A.D. 200/400 to 1000) in the Jornada region is known primarily from the excavation of a few villages and some other, smaller residential and logistical sites. LA 152064, located low on an alluvial fan of the Organ Mountains, appears similar to other early villages, such as Conejo and Turquoise Ridge. Relatively early cotton, maize, and other botanical remains; a dense concentration of structures—with likely indications of reoccupation of loci within the site over time; and other aspects of the site, however, indicate that it may be somewhat different from other such sites. I compare and contrast this village with others and add to the growing Early Formative period database. I briefly describe the site and its constituent elements, make comparisons with other Mesilla phase villages in the region, begin the process of reconstructing an Early Formative period landscape in the Organ Mountains and adjacent basins, and suggest productive directions for future research.


Mesilla Phase Ceramics: From Multi-Use Vessels to an Increasingly Specialized Ceramic Container Technology

David T. Unruh and Robert A. Heckman

Excavation of two early Mesilla phase (ca. A.D. 600—900) sites resulted in the collection of thousands of sherds from residential habitations located on an alluvial fan emanating from the eastern slopes of the Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico. The collections allowed a detailed examination of the ceramic container technology of forager-farmers during this period in southern New Mexico. Our preliminary findings concerning vessel manufacture and function are compared to previous studies at sites in the Tularosa valley, along with a cross-cultural comparison with protohistoric and historic forager-farmer groups. The results shed light on the transition from multiuse vessels to an increasingly specialized ceramic container technology.


Wandering the Desert: Least-Cost Path Modeling for a Recently Discovered Trail in the Jornada-Mogollon Region, Fort Bliss, South Central New Mexico

Shaun Phillips and Phillip O. Leckman

During a recent evaluation project on Fort Bliss, Statistical Research, Inc., archaeologists located a potential prehistoric trail near the base of the Organ Mountains. It was identified in the field and office by a narrow linear arrangement of Transect Recording Units (TRUs) containing high densities of ceramics stretching for nearly 3 km across alluvial fans. Previous researchers have located three other prehistoric trails using similar methods on Northern Fort Bliss, near the Sacramento Mountains. These have been interpreted as trails for transporting water from a semipermanent water source to other locations. Through least-cost path analysis and other GIS-based methods, we examine the placement of the newly discovered trail on the landscape as well as discuss choices made by the people who used it. By using the previously identified trails and spatial analyzes as a basis, this paper attempts to evaluate and interpret the recently discovered trail more thoroughly and place it within a larger neighborhood and regional context.


Community and Connection: Formative-era Site Structure and Social Dynamics in the Southern Tularosa Basin

Phillip O. Leckman

Recent archaeological research conducted by Statistical Research, Inc., and other CRM firms on Fort Bliss in the southern Tularosa Basin has produced a wealth of new data concerning the structure and character of Jornada Mogollon habitation sites. Using data drawn from these excavations and other relevant archaeological and ethnographic sources, I employ a variety of methods of spatial analysis to tease apart these data, providing insights into site structure; organization; and, ultimately, hinting at dynamics of Jornada Mogollon social organization, intra- and intergroup interaction, and other social dynamics across the span of the Formative period.



15th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (Riva del Garda, Italy; September 2009)

Lessons from Transportation Project Studies in the American Southwest

Richard Ciolek-Torrello, Robert Wegener, Rein Vanderpot, and William Graves

Population growth in the western United States over the last 50 years has been dramatic, with large cities emerging rapidly in what were recently largely rural areas. Highway system improvements are a fundamental aspect of this growth. They provide vital commodities and services not only to these growing urban areas, but also to surrounding suburban and rural communities, while facilitating and making safer movement of people between these areas. Although these improvements are tremendously important in terms of economic development and safety, they have placed at risk thousands of historic properties. Statistical Research, Inc., (SRI) a private cultural resource management firm, has conducted archaeological investigations for large-scale transportation projects for almost 20 years in the western United States. These projects have been long, multi-year research projects involving the excavation of single large sites and long, linear projects that have included dozens of prehistoric and historical-period sites extending over large, geographically diverse regions administered by numerous government agencies. In this presentation, we discuss the solutions we have developed in response to this dynamic and multifaceted regulatory, financial, and research environment.

GIS Methodological Approaches to the Study of Spatial Behavior

Jeffrey H. Altschul, Richard Ciolek-Torrello, Michael Heilen, William Hayden, and Gerry Wait

There has been a long-standing debate in academic archaeology on how to study the surface archaeological record. The debate has centered around whether to interpret the record as consisting of discrete sites and isolates or as continuous distributions of artifacts, features, and deposits. Historic preservation laws, however, focus on discrete sites as the properties that need to be discovered, recorded, and evaluated. As more research is done within a heritage management framework, the outcome has been to focus on the site as the unit of analysis almost to the exclusion of the study of spatial behaviors that transcend discrete sites. To achieve the objectives of heritage preservation and to examine spatial human behavior that is unconstrained by the site concept, new methodologies are needed. As a move in this direction we use GIS to create hypothetical archaeological landscapes based on assumptions of human behavior that can be tested and refined with survey and excavation data. In this process we collect detailed surface data that GIS algorithms use to define discrete sites and, at the same time, to analyze continuous distributions of cultural materials. We illustrate this approach with a several examples from North America and West Africa using different field methodologies.

Tularosa Basin Conference (Tularosa, New Mexico; May 2009)

Using an Ecological Model to Predict the Presence and Absence of Maize Cultivation, Cross-Culturally, and Implications for the Adoption of Maize
               
Jacob Freeman1 and Robert J. Hard2
1Statistical Research, Inc.; 2University of Texas–San Antonio
   
We use a simple ecological model to predict the presence and absence of maize cultivation among a sample of 185 ethnographically recorded societies. The model predicts that maize is cultivated where density-dependent competition for foraging space is acute and environmental conditions favor maize growth and productivity. Maize cultivation is absent, cross-culturally, where competition for foraging space is slight or in settings where competition for foraging space is acute, but the time and energy costs of maize production outweigh the benefits relative to foraging for resources. The significant variables in the model have several implications for the prehistoric adoption of maize in the Tularosa Basin and across the southern United States in general.

A Jornada Mogollon Water Reservoir below the Organ Mountains


A. C. MacWilliams1, David D. Kuehn1, Phillip O. Leckman1,  Monica L. Murrell1,  Jeffrey A. Homburg1, and Richard I. Macphail2
1Statistical Research, Inc., Tucson; 2Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Water is the greatest constraint on survival in western North America’s deserts. A widely used Native American strategy for water storage in the region was construction of reservoirs. The third water reservoir known from the southern Jornada Mogollon region was recently found at a Doña Ana–El Paso phase site on an alluvial fan east of the Organ Mountains. This reservoir was dug more than 1.5 m into alluvium. Maximum capacity was approximately 70 cubic meters. A watershed size model shows that a small, low-energy system supplied the reservoir and provides a predictive framework for locating reservoirs. Detailed reservoir fill characterization identified pond marl and sand strata, indicative of seasonal infilling. Corroborating palynological, phytolith, and micropaleontological analyses identified an intermittent aquatic habitat. Hydraulic analysis of reservoir fill demonstrates that the feature could not hold water for extended intervals without recharge. This analysis also indicates that the reservoir probably was usable for only a few decades. Two radiocarbon dates from deep reservoir fill indicate that infilling probably began in the late 1300s–1400s (cal. A.D.). The many possible uses of reservoir water include sustaining pot irrigation; there is no evidence that this feature supplied canals. The reservoir is associated with a site interpreted to have been seasonally occupied by small numbers of residents.



74th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (Atlanta, Georgia; April 2009)

Settlement and Production at the Cashion Site Complex:  The Pre-Classic and Classic Periods at AZ T:11:94 (ASM)

William M. Graves, Robert M. Wegener, and Richard Ciolek-Torrello

The Hohokam use of the Salt River floodplain in the Phoenix Basin witnessed a long and complex history. Numerous excavations over the past 30 years have documented this history of changing settlement and subsistence practices. Changes in how people used and lived within the floodplain appear to correlate with larger-scale changes in settlement location, community organization, and production that took place during the pre-Classic and Classic periods. Focusing on information from site AZ T:11:94 (ASM), part of the Cashion Site Complex, we explore possible relationships between changes in floodplain use and changes in community location and the organization and relations of production.

Not Just the End Game Anymore: Proactive Budgeting for Project Curation Needs in a Changing Archaeological World
Note: From the symposium “Dollars and Sense in Recovering and Managing Archeological Collections”

Teresita Majewski

More often than not, the curation of recovered collections is an afterthought, both for those who fund archaeology and for those carrying it out. Minimal consideration is given to the impact of prefield and field decisions on the artifacts recovered, processed, analyzed, prepared for curation, and ultimately curated. The nationwide curation crisis forces the realization that the responsible treatment of archaeological collections begins when clients first contemplate a project and continues throughout a project’s duration and beyond. Actual examples of budgeting for curation costs consider requirements such as in-field recording, sampling, conservation, digital archiving, and curation in appropriate repositories.   

Wandering the Desert: Least-Cost Path Modeling for Water Transport Trails in the Jornada-Mogollon Region, Fort Bliss, South Central New Mexico
Note: From the symposium "Tracing Trails & Modeling Movement: Understanding Past Cultural Landscapes and Social Networks through Least-Cost Analysis"

Shaun Phillips and Phillip O. Leckman

Previous researchers have located three possible trails on northern Fort Bliss, Otero County, New Mexico. These have been interpreted as trails for transporting water from a semipermanent water source to other locations. This paper will attempt to look more rigorously at the placement of these trails on the landscape. Using the originally identified water source as a starting point, other possible trail locations will be evaluated based on survey data and least-cost analysis.

A Meal in a Dish: Food-Related Economics in an Early Twentieth-Century Tucson, Arizona, Neighborhood
Note: Poster presentation

Ashley Morton and Janet Griffitts

Faunal remains provide direct evidence of certain food choices, and those choices may provide indirect evidence of a family’s socioeconomic standing. Food choices, though, are often limited by availability as well as by social constraints. Ceramics can also serve as indicators of choice and status. This study uses both lines of evidence—faunal bone and ceramics collected from privy contexts in an early twentieth-century Tucson, Arizona, neighborhood—to examine consumer choice in an economically and ethnically mixed neighborhood. Differences in public and private choices and everyday and special-occasion dining practices are explored.


Symposium "On Sacred Ground: The Life History of a Place and Its People"

Organized by Michael Heilen

Statistical Research, Inc., was contracted by Pima County, Arizona, to completely excavate in 17 months a complex, 4.2-acre multicomponent site in downtown Tucson. The Joint Courts Complex project area included a Late Archaic residential locus, a historical-period cemetery of over 1,100 individuals, and numerous residential or commercial features that intruded or capped the cemetery. Our multidisciplinary team applied cutting-edge technology and new methods to investigate long-term change in land use and social values, the mortuary practice and bioarchaeology of a multiethnic nineteenth-century community, and twentieth-century urban development. How did we do it and what are we learning?      

The Joint Courts Complex Project: An Overview and Context

Marlesa A. Gray


For the Joint Courts Complex project, Statistical Research, Inc., completely excavated a large, multicomponent site in downtown Tucson, Arizona. The project, which included the excavation of a large historical-period cemetery, was run according to a strict schedule and faced enormous technological and logistical challenges. This presentation has three purposes: (1) to acquaint the audience with the project; (2) to detail some of the technological and logistical challenges that the project team had to overcome to successfully complete the fieldwork, analysis, and legal requirements on schedule; and (3) to introduce the remainder of the presentations in this symposium.  

Before You Dig: Minimizing Conflict and Controversy in Historic Cemetery Excavations

Roger Anyon

Before the first shovel of dirt was excavated for the Joint Courts Complex project in downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the site of a historical-period cemetery, 2 years were spent making preparations and consulting with potential descendant groups. This paper details the consultation process and the steps taken prior to excavation: conducting background research, identifying potential descendant groups, negotiating burial agreements, obtaining a court order and a state permit, issuing public notices, and addressing political and media considerations. Intensive and inclusive preparations prior to excavation proved invaluable in minimizing conflict and controversy, a fundamental goal of any historical-period cemetery excavation project.

The Statistical Research, Inc., Database (SRID): Flexible Integration of Large Diverse Data Sets

Ivan Davis, Andrew Bean, and John Hall

The large size and complexity of the Joint Courts Complex project presented the formidable technical challenge of managing enormous quantities of data in a flexible manner. The project recorded more than 37,000 artifact inventories, 30,000 proveniences, and 1,900 features. Managing these data required a system responsive to procedural improvements, large numbers of discoveries, evolving analytical goals, and daily reporting needs. This paper discusses how flexibility and integration were achieved by linking multiple data categories―discovery units, features, proveniences, artifact inventories, osteological remains, on-site storage locations, and visual media―in a data management system that was both functional and efficient.

Application of 3D Laser Scanning to Cemetery Excavation

Stephen A. McElroy, Malcolm C. Hooe, and Matthew E. Lewis

The ability to document fragile osteological remains is an important concern during the excavation of cemeteries. 3D laser scanning technology permits recording of human remains in situ in the field and additional attributes, such as bone pathologies, in the lab. This paper outlines field and lab methods used on the Joint Courts Complex project for recording and measuring human remains using noncontact laser scanning. Our approach allows multiple analysts in different locations to measure human remains using a virtual 3D analytical model without directly handling remains. In addition, 3D digital modeling allows osteological research to continue after the human remains are reinterred.

Late Archaic Subsistence Strategies and Settlement Patterns in the Tucson Basin: An Overview of the Joint Court Complex Project’s Prehistoric Archaeology

Catherine A. McMahon and John D. Hall

Several habitation and processing features dating to the Cienega phase of the Late Archaic period (ca. 800 B.C.–A.D. 200) were discovered as a result of the Joint Courts Complex project. Previous research on forager-farmer subsistence and settlement strategies in the Tucson Basin during this period focused on riverine settlements and the role of agriculture in prehistoric economies. This paper compares the stone artifact and botanical evidence from the Cienega phase component of the Joint Courts Complex project with remains from contemporaneous components at other sites and explores the implications for Late Archaic settlement and subsistence.

Life and Death in Tucson, Circa 1854–1884

Michael Heilen

Dramatic social, economic, and demographic change occurred in the American Southwest while Tucson’s National Cemetery was in use. These changes had a pronounced effect on daily life and, ultimately, on the composition of cemeteries. In Tucson, Arizona, the mostly Hispanic local community reorganized as political and economic conditions changed, and people from many different backgrounds moved into town. For this paper, I use census records, burial records, and other historical information to model who was likely buried in the cemetery and to discuss hazards faced by different segments of the burial population.

Spatial Organization of Tucson’s National Cemetery: Determining the Use of Space through Historical and Archaeological Evidence

Cannon Daughtrey, Michael Heilen, and John D. Hall

Tucson’s National Cemetery was used by a multiethnic community whose burial practice drew from multiple cultural traditions. The cemetery was divided into civilian and military sections, but ethnohistorical and archaeological evidence suggest the possibility of other divisions as well. A fascinating result of fieldwork was patterned variation in the spatial organization of grave features and their attributes, suggesting a correlation between some cemetery areas and particular groups or traditions. In this paper we integrate historical and archaeological evidence to infer the organization of the cemetery and discuss the implications of space use in understanding the organization of the local community.

History, Archaeology, and Bioarchaeology of the Military Section of Tucson’s National Cemetery

Kimberly Spurr, Kristin Sewell, Rochelle Bennett, and Michael Heilen

A small portion of Tucson’s National Cemetery was used by the military from 1862 to 1881. A new military cemetery opened when Fort Lowell was established, and in 1884, most military graves in the National Cemetery were exhumed and reinterred at Fort Lowell. SRI’s excavations for the Joint Courts Complex project revealed intact burials in only a few military graves, but many graves contained artifacts and skeletal elements left behind during exhumation. This pattern has been noted at other military cemeteries and battlefields and reflects a variety of taphonomic and behavioral factors that is explored in this presentation.

A Multidisciplinary Approach for the Determination of Cultural Affinity: Incorporating Contextual, Osteological, and Historical Documentation

Joseph T. Hefner and Kristin Sewell

Historically, typological classification has been a key strategy to identify group affiliation from the archaeological record, but this method does not consider how a group defines itself nor the admixture of multiple groups. Assessing affinity is often difficult, because no simple correspondence exists between one’s biological ancestry and one’s culture. This is especially true in the context of nineteenth-century Tucson, where the majority of the population shared a Hispanic culture and diverse Native American and Euroamerican roots. This paper presents a multidisciplinary approach for assessing cultural affinity, with emphasis on multiple lines of historical, contextual, and osteological evidence. 

Diet and Nutrition on the Frontier: Dental Health in Nineteenth-Century Tucson

Lorrie Lincoln-Babb, John McClelland, Willa Trask, and Shari Tiedens

As a frontier settlement in the American Southwest, nineteenth-century Tucson was a multiethnic community with strong ties to colonial Mexico and local indigenous populations. Dental health is strongly influenced by diet, which can in turn reflect other factors, such as culinary preference or ethnicity. In this paper, we present the preliminary results of an investigation of dental health in the burial population of Tucson's National Cemetery. We infer social and dietery differences within the burial population by evaluating patterns in dental wear, tooth decay, and evidence for professional dental care.

Where Have All the Children Gone? Epidemic Disease and Child Burial in the American Southwest

Tracie D. Diaz

It is not uncommon for a cemetery population —of any era—to consist of nearly one-half children. Within the cemetery excavated by the Joint Courts Complex Archaeological Data Recovery Project, however, one area consists almost entirely of children. Disease epidemics, such as smallpox outbreaks, swept through the city during the time the cemetery was in use, claiming the lives of many children in nineteenth-century Tucson. With the use of historical, palynological, skeletal, and dental information we can evaluate whether concentrations of children at the site might represent the catastrophic effects of epidemic disease.

Sugar and Spice and Trousers are Nice: An Exploration of Gender Roles in the American Southwest through Clothing, Fasteners, and Funerary Objects

Kristin Sewell, Charlotte Marie Cable, and Callie Unverzagt

Mortuary analysis of burials in Tucson’s National Cemetery provides a unique glimpse into expressions of gender on the American frontier. Using the remains of garments, clothing fasteners, footwear, jewelry, and other personal objects, this paper explores how settlers in this burgeoning community balanced the practical needs of life on the frontier with traditional displays of  nineteenth-century femininity and masculinity. In doing so, the population of Tucson negotiated conventional gender roles amid the unique pressures and opportunities of frontier living in the American Southwest.

The Archaeology of Death and Funerals in Nineteenth-Century Tucson


Jeremy Pye and Kristin Sewell

Mortuary practices are an increasingly popular topic of study in recent years with focus on the Victorian movement toward the “Beautification of Death,” in which elaborate, deeply mournful displays of grief and memorializing the dead were essential. In Tucson, however, when the transcontinental railroad had yet to forge its way into the landscape, and eastern settlers were still relatively few, the material culture of mourning and burial was mostly unchanged from practices brought by the priests of the Spanish missionary period. In this paper, we discuss funerary artifacts with respect to these merging traditions, memory, and placement in the cemetery.

An Anthropology of Evolving Land Use Values:  Residential and Commercial Development in Downtown Tucson, Arizona, 1890–2008

Karen Swope and R. Scott Plumlee

Archaeological investigations in downtown Tucson, Arizona, revealed important data regarding residential and commercial development beginning in the late nineteenth century. The area studied was situated atop a former cemetery, and consideration is given to the changing social values and economic forces driving land use in the American Southwest at the turn of the twentieth century. Within one decade after cemetery abandonment, a residential zone had developed on the site. Sixty years later, the residential zone had evolved into an exclusively commercial one. The roles of a multicultural society and proximity to the railroad in the development of the Southwest are explored.

The Paper and the Privy: Juxtaposing Historical and Archaeological Models of Socioeconomic Status

R. Scott Plumlee, Shari Tiedens, Ashley Morton, and Callie Unverzagt

The availability of written records pertaining to households in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Tucson, Arizona, allows for historical modeling of their socioeconomic status. However, these models should augment, rather than replace, models based on material culture. To develop a greater understanding of these households, the results of an archivally based historical model were compared to three archaeological models. The latter were based on materials collected from privy contexts during excavations for the Joint Courts Complex project. The comparison allows for an assessment of the individual models and an examination of socioeconomic status in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Tucson.


Symposium "Archaeology in the Basins of South-Central New Mexico and West Texas: A Sample from Fort Bliss"

Organized by Kari M. Schmidt and Christine Ward

In 2007, Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), was awarded a 5-year contract for survey, evaluation, and mitigation projects at Fort Bliss in the southern Southwest. In the first two years, SRI has undertaken numerous projects that are adding to the already significant database of the Jornada Mogollon region. In this session, authors discuss some of the more interesting sites and landscape data collected from these projects, ranging from Archaic period logistically used campsites to early and late Formative period villages to historical-period ranching sites. We summarize the research and the historic contexts and suggest new and further directions for this continuing research.       

Foraging and Farming in the Desert Borderlands

Bradley J. Vierra


The fact that a reliance on maize agriculture occurred much later in the area of the Jornada Mogollon, as compared to other regions of the Southwest, underscores the importance of understanding the variability in timing, context, and nature of early agriculture. The interplay between foraging and farming was presumably a fragile one, with the exact balance being determined by several factors, including population demography, resource structure, and rainfall. It is this interplay that forms the backdrop to understanding the changing role of foraging vs. farming in the Tularosa Basin of southern New Mexico.

Macro-Scale Survey at Fort Bliss: Settlement and Spatial Patterning along the Margins of the Tularosa Basin

Phillip O. Leckman and Shaun M. Phillips

Spatial data derived from the ongoing survey of more than 30,000 acres along the northern edge of the Tularosa Basin provide intriguing insights into the nature of settlement and land use in this important but historically understudied region of southern New Mexico. By considering this considerable data set via a variety of spatial analytical methods, we illuminate archaeological dynamics with the potential to inform future research into settlement history and landscape use across a 1,000-year swath of this region’s history. These tentative patterns are discussed in light of other large-scale survey data from within the region and across the American Southwest.

Early Formative Period Villages in the Southern Tularosa Basin

Christine G. Ward and Phillip O. Leckman

The Mesilla phase (A.D. 200/400–1000) in the Jornada region is known primarily from the excavation of a few villages and some other, smaller residential and logistical sites. FB16985, located low on an Organ Mountains alluvial fan, appears in ways similar to other early villages such as Conejo and Turquoise Ridge. Using data obtained from recent excavations at FB16985, we compare and contrast this village with others and add to this growing database. We briefly describe the site and its constituent elements, make comparisons with other Mesilla phase villages in the region, and suggest productive directions for future research.

Mesilla Phase Ceramics: From Multi-use Vessels to an Increasingly Specialized Ceramic Container Technology

Robert A. Heckman and Eleanor S. Dahlin

Excavation of an early Mesilla phase (ca. A.D. 600–900) site resulted in the collection of thousands of sherds from a residential habitation located on an alluvial fan emanating from the eastern flakes of Organ Mountains in southern New Mexico. This collection allowed a detailed examination of the ceramic container technology of forager-farmers during this period in southern New Mexico. Our preliminary findings concerning vessel manufacture and function are compared to previous studies at sites in the Tularosa valley, along with a cross-cultural comparison with protohistoric and historical-period forager-farmer groups. The results shed light on the transition from multi-use vessels to an increasingly specialized ceramic container technology. 

Formative Period Subsistence on the Lower Alluvial Fans of the Organ Mountains, Southern New Mexico

Kari M. Schmidt

In 2007, Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), was awarded a 5-year contract for survey, evaluation, and mitigation projects at Fort Bliss in the southern Southwest. Excavations by SRI resulted in the recovery of a large subsistence assemblage from various Mesilla (ca. A.D. 200–1100), Doña Ana (A.D. 1100–1200), and El Paso phase (A.D. 1200–1450) contexts. This paper compares and contrasts the faunal assemblages recovered at various sites and uses this information, as well as pollen and macrobotanical data, to address changing subsistence strategies in the Jornada Mogollon region during the Formative period.


Symposium "Ethnoarchaeology"

Chaired by John G. Douglass

Seeds of Change: Intensive Plant Exploitation in Protohistoric Coastal Southern California

Seetha N. Reddy

Several scholars have asserted that low-level food production and aboriginal horticulture took place prior to Spanish contact in prehistoric coastal southern California. This presentation synthesizes recent archaeological investigations into prehistoric plant usage in a variety of settings in coastal southern California. New macrobotanical data provide direct evidence for prehistoric plant usage and reveal varied trajectories in the intensification of small-seeded plant use. Notably, during the Mission period, Native populations in the Los Angeles Basin selectively targeted certain grasses for intensive collection while populations farther to the south did not. The presentation will evaluate the utility of resource-intensification models and consider whether localized Native American populations were on a path toward food production.

Mission Period Impacts on Hunting and Fishing along Santa Monica Bay, Southern California


Justin Lev-Tov and Sarah Van Galder

Nearly 20 years of archaeological research along Santa Monica Bay have accumulated a wealth of data about prehistoric settlement and subsistence. Two well-studied sites with Mission period components are located in this area. Faunal remains from the Mission period demonstrate clear dietary changes from earlier periods. The primary changes from the prehistoric to historical period are intensive deer and sea-mammal hunting, as well as offshore expeditions for pelagic fish. Several causes for these changes will be examined, including demand for European weapons and the introduction of European plants and animals.

Late Holocene Culture Contact: A Comparative View

John G. Douglass and Seetha N. Reddy

Prehistorians working in California have often relied upon a rich ethnographic record—thick with information on ideology, social organization, and subsistence activities—to enhance their interpretations of the past. These ethnographic descriptions of varied Native American tribes are typically static and normative in character, rarely exploring how these cultures adapted to unprecedented upheavals. This paper explores coastal California Native American culture change in the Late Holocene through the initial Spanish occupation. Focusing on culture contact and adoption of nonlocal traditions and lifeways, we explore how indigenous cultures, both in California and elsewhere, adapted to maintain their identity.



78th Annual Meeting of the American Academy for Physical Anthropologists (Chicago, Illinois; April 2009)

Insights into the Historical and Skeletal Demography of an Early Tucson Cemetery

N.P. Herrmann
1, W.R. Trask2, M.P. Heilen2, J.T. Hefner2, and L.W. Konigsberg3.
1
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Mississippi State University; 2Statistical Research, Inc.; 3Department of Anthropology, University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Recent bioarchaeological investigations led by Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), at a cemetery within the Joint Courts Complex in Tucson, Arizona, have documented 1,083 graves. The cemetery, which served as the primary burial ground for the city, represents a cross section of nineteenth-century Tucson. As such, the burial sample provides a glimpse into the development of this Southwest desert city. Archival research by SRI produced an extensive burial record for Tucson during this period with interment data on 2,314 individuals spanning from 1863 to 1887. Excavation data suggests that interments from only 1862 to 1875 are represented in the burial sample (n = 974). No civilian graves have been specifically linked to the archival burial record. The laboratory analysis performed on site focused on the construction of a biological profile, documentation of paleopathological data, and collection of standard morphological and metric osseous and dental traits. The combined archival record and burial sample provide a unique opportunity to investigate life and death in early Tucson. The examination of the two data sets is critical to identify and understand the variation within and between archival and osteological mortality profiles. A comparison of various Siler and Gompertz models for the osteological age-at-death profile and the Diocese burial record distribution produced significantly different parameters. Adult age-at-death estimates were then reassessed using transition analysis based on a limited number of adult age indicators. The transition analysis age-at-death distributions are compared to the composite age-at-death and archival age-at-death distributions to highlight the differences in these approaches.


12th US/ICOMOS International Symposium(New Orleans, Louisiana; March 2009)

Wildfires and the Protection and Rehabilitation of Heritage Sites in Southern California

Richard Ciolek-Torrello and Michael K. Lerch

Southern California has long been notorious for the massive wildfires that have moved rapidly over its chaparral and forest covered hills and mountains. For a variety of reasons—poor wildfire management practices, encroachment of human habitation on sensitive areas, and global warming—wildfires have increased in frequency and scale in the past decade. It is well known that individual wildfires have burned thousands of square kilometers, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, forced the evacuation of up to a half million people, and killed scores of others. Less well known, however, is the impact of these wildfires on heritage resources, including the direct effects of fires themselves, impacts from fire-suppression activities, and long-term effects from the exposure of sensitive resources to erosion and recreational activities. The types of resources affected include historic buildings and other properties, sacred Native American sites, petroglyph sites, and prehistoric quarries and artifact scatters. In this paper, we discuss actions by federal and state government agencies to protect these resources from fire-related impacts. These actions include the development of plans to identify and protect the most sensitive resources prior to the outbreak of fires, evaluate damage to resources from fires and fire suppression, and rehabilitate damaged sites. We focus on several projects in which the authors have participated. As the global climate warms, wildfires are having similar impacts on an increasing scale in Europe and other regions of the world. The lessons learned in protecting heritage resources in southern California are thus relevant internationally.

54th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers Meeting (Las Vegas, Nevada; March 2009)

Anthropogenic Effects on Soil Quality of Ancient Agricultural Systems of the Southwest

Jeffrey Homburg1,2 and Jonathan A. Sandor3
1Statistical Research, Inc.; 2University of Arizona; 3Iowa State University

Ancient agricultural soils provide excellent opportunities for studying long-term human-environmental relationships and land-use sustainability. This is especially true in desert landscapes of the American Southwest because (1) soil formation is slow enough that cultivation effects persist for centuries to millennia; (2) many ancient fields in valley margins have remained uncultivated since they were abandoned, so long-term soil properties reflect ancient agricultural use; and (3) agricultural features (e.g., terraces, rock alignments and rock piles, and irrigation canals) provide clues for identifying and sampling ancient cultivated and uncultivated soils. Remnants of these field systems remain surficial and intact in many cases. Soil studies of prehistoric to contemporary American Indian agriculture across the Southwest indicate varied, dynamic responses to land use. Soil changes range from degradation (e.g., organic matter/nutrient decline and compaction) to minimal net change to enhanced soil quality. Soil changes can be inferred by comparing soils in agricultural fields relative to reference uncultivated areas in similar settings (space-for-time substitution). Soil response pathways vary by initial ecosystem conditions, diverse agricultural methods, and environmental sensitivity to alteration (varying resistance and resilience). Studies of rock mulch soils indicate enhanced fertility, with elevated organic carbon, nitrogen, and available phosphorus levels, increased infiltration rates, and moisture retention and no evidence of compaction. By contrast, cultivation effects vary widely for terraced soils. Although numerous studies have focused on irrigation canals, irrigated soils have received far less attention. Soil studies of irrigation systems along the Gila and Santa Cruz Rivers now underway will help fill this research gap.



2009 Annual Meeting of the Society for California Archeology (Modesto, California; March 2009)

General Sessions

• "A Transect of Coast and Range Subsistence," chaired by Seetha N. Reddy
• "Southern California Ethnohistory," chaired by John G. Douglass

Mission San Gabriel and Mission San Fernando Rey Rural Recruitment in the Los Angeles Basin, 1771–1834

John G. Douglass

During the Mission period in southern California, Gabrielino, Serrano, Cahuilla, Chumash, Tataviam, and other Native American groups were recruited by Missions San Gabriel and San Fernando Rey, with the vast majority of these baptisms occurring at the Mission itself. This paper delves into other, less regular types of recruitment: baptisms at Native American rancherías and other locations. This paper will juxtapose recruitment data of individuals baptized at the Missions San Gabriel and San Fernando Rey with patterns of ranchería baptisms. By using a combination of published sources, as well as the Early California Population Project database, this paper attempts to better understand Mission recruitment in the Los Angeles Basin.

Subsistence Practices during the Middle and Late Holocene in the Ballona, Coastal Southern California

Seetha N. Reddy and Justin Lev-Tov

Continuity and change in subsistence strategies from the Middle to Late Holocene in coastal southern California has significant implications with respect to culture contact with the Channel Islands and the inland areas. Distinctive fishing and hunting strategies have often been used as evidence of culture contact and assimilation between societies with different adaptations. Plant usage, however, has rarely been used as a marker for adaptive strategies due to lack of data and also poor resolution for regional trends and preferences. This presentation integrates varied data sets from recent excavations along Santa Monica Bay to explore changes in adaptive strategies.



2009 Annual Meeting of the Society for Historical Archeology (Toronto, Canada; January 2009)

The California and Alabama National Guard on the Mexican Border, 1916–1917

Catherine Holder Spude

The raid of Columbus, New Mexico, on March 9, 1916, by a band of Mexican Revolutionaries plunged the United States into a state of military preparedness that was not equaled until the aftermath of September 11, 2001. A country that fought wars by pulling cannon onto the battlefield with mules and horses suddenly found itself in the modern era, learning to wage war with airplanes and trucks and vaccinate its soldiers against typhus and diphtheria. Guarding the Mexican border, tens of thousands of bachelors learned in the course of 6 months how to mobilize, work with the regular army, and wage modern warfare before being plunged into the war to end all wars. How did they do it without women to nurture them through their trials?



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