Why and when human societies shifted from nomadic hunting and gathering to settled agriculture engages the interest of scholars around the world. One of the most fruitful areas in which to study this issue is the North American Southwest, where Late Archaic inhabitants of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts of Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico turned to farming while their counterparts in Trans-Pecos and South Texas continued to forage. By investigating the environmental, biological, and cultural factors that led to these differing patterns of development, we can identify some of the necessary conditions for the rise of agriculture and the corresponding evolution of village life.
The twelve papers in this volume synthesize previous and ongoing research and offer new theoretical models to provide the most up-to-date picture of life during the Late Archaic (from 3,000 to 1,500 years ago) across the entire North American Borderlands. Some of the papers focus on specific research topics such as stone tool technology and mobility patterns. Others study the development of agriculture across whole regions within the Borderlands. The two concluding papers trace pan-regional patterns in the adoption of farming and also link them to the growth of agriculture in other parts of the world.
Bradley J. Vierra is an archaeologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
This volume is a unique and needed addition to aid in our understanding of the Late Archaic in the North American Southwest. . . . I will use it as reference frequently in my own library.
~M. Steven Shackley
Foreword by Richard I. Ford
Preface by Thomas R. Hester
1. Borderlands Introduction (Bradley J. Vierra)
2. The Late Archaic/Early Agricultural Period in Sonora, Mexico (John P. Carpenter, Guadalupe Sánchez, María Elisa Villalpando C.)
3. Changing Knowledge and Ideas about the First Farmers in Southeastern Arizona (Jonathan B. Mabry)
4. A Biological Reconstruction of Mobility Patterns in Late Archaic Populations (Marsha D. Ogilvie)
5. Environmental Constraints on Forager Mobility and the Use of Cultigens in Southeastern Arizona and Southern New Mexico (William H. Doleman)
6. The Transition to Farming on the Río Casas Grandes and in the Southern Jornada Mogollon Region (Robert J. Hard and John R. Roney)
7. Late Archaic Stone Tool Technology across the Borderlands (Bradley J. Vierra)
8. Late Archaic Foragers of Eastern Trans-Pecos Texas and the Big Bend (Robert J. Mallouf)
9. Ecological Factors Affecting the Late Archaic Economy of the Lower Pecos River Region (Phil Dering)
10. An Overview of the Late Archaic in Southern Texas (Thomas R. Hester)
11. Many Perspectives But a Consistent Pattern: Comments on Contributions (R. G. Matson)
12. Documenting the Transition to Food Production along the Borderlands (Bruce D. Smith)
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