The Study Area and the Ancestral Pueblo Occupation

Scott G. Ortman, Donna M. Glowacki, Mark D. Varien and C. David Johnson

in Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520270145
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951990 | DOI:
The Study Area and the Ancestral Pueblo Occupation

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A major effort of the Village Ecodynamics Project involved translating the archaeological record of the central Mesa Verde region into quantitative summaries of the actual ancestral Pueblo settlement history, using explicit and repeatable criteria. This chapter introduces the study area, explains how we translated the archaeological record into a quantitative database using Bayesian statistical methods, and presents the basic outlines of the resulting settlement history derived from these data. These analyses provide an introduction to the basic issues surrounding ancestral Pueblo historical ecology, whichthe remaining chapters of this book address in various ways. They also provide the “pattern of resistance” against which models of climate change; agricultural potential; water availability; wood, stone, and game resources; exchange; warfare; and settlement decisions are evaluated throughout this volume.

Keywords: settlement history; settlement patterns; Bayesian statistical methods; archaeological databases; tree-ring dating; historical ecology; central Mesa Verde region; Village Ecodynamics Project

Chapter.  10694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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