The Sonoran Desert: An Ethnoecological Analogue?

David Beresford-Jones

in The Lost Woodlands of Ancient Nasca

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264768
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754005 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

The Sonoran Desert: An Ethnoecological Analogue?

Show Summary Details


The relationship between humans and the genus Prosopis in the arid lands of the New World is almost as ancient as human occupation itself. This chapter explores this in one particular part of these American drylands: the Sonoran Desert of the south-western United States or, to be more specific, within the riparian basins of the Salt and Gila rivers of that desert. For here, a more recent human ecology offers an analogue for the far deeper time-depths of the Peruvian south coast. In the Sonoran, and elsewhere in the United States, several species of section Algarobia of the Prosopis genus are known collectively as ‘mesquite’. Mesquite is the one of the most common plants along the washes of North American arid lands and was a vital resource for its peoples.

Keywords: Prosopis; riparian basins; Sonoran Desert; arid lands; human ecology; mesquite

Chapter.  8482 words. 

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.