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The Latest Research on the Earliest Farmers

Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 23, No. 1
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Issue editor: Sarah A. Herr, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

An archaeologist with Desert Archaeology, Inc., examines a re-created field area within the roughly 3,000-year-old expanse of irrigation canals and bordered fields currently under excavation at Las Capas in the Tucson Basin. More than fifteen acres of fields were once present.

An archaeologist with Desert Archaeology, Inc., examines a re-created field area within the roughly 3,000-year-old expanse of irrigation canals and bordered fields currently under excavation at Las Capas in the Tucson Basin. More than fifteen acres of fields were once present.

This issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine discusses our rapidly changing knowledge about the first farmers in the Southwest, and builds upon the first-ever issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine, which was also devoted to early agriculture. Articles highlight core themes of an advanced seminar that was held at the Museum of Northern Arizona on August 6 and 7, 2008, in conjunction with the Pecos Conference.

Editor Sarah Herr begins with an overview of research developments over the past ten years, noting that, at present, the earliest known maize and settlements in the Southwest date to around 2100 B.C., and the earliest known canals are dated to approximately 1500 B.C. In addition to the authors’ explorations of the topics listed below, the issue includes special features on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Dating, the Old Corn Site, aerial photography of the Las Capas site, and the settlement at Kin Kahuna.

Articles include:

The Latest Research on the Earliest Farmers — Sarah A. Herr, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

The Beginnings of Maize Agriculture — John Roney, Colinas Cultural Resource Consulting, and Robert Hard, University of Texas, San Antonio

Reconstructing Paleoenvironmental Conditions during the Early Agricultural Period — Carla Van West, SRI Foundation

Stream Reach Boundaries: Persistent Places on the Landscape of Early Southwestern Farmers — David A. Gregory, Fred L. Nials, and J. Brett Hill, Center for Desert Archaeology

Thoughts about Maize — Linda Cordell, School for Advanced Research

Las Capas — Sarah A. Herr, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Las Capas Photo Gallery

Early Agricultural Period Food Provisioning and Foraging — Michael W. Diehl, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Life and Death among the Earliest Farmers — James Watson, Arizona State Museum

La Playa: An Early Agricultural Period Landscape — John Carpenter, Elisa Villalpando, and Guadalupe Sanchez, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia

Continuity and Change in the Four Corners Region during the Agricultural Transition — Phil Geib, University of New Mexico

A Perishables Perspective on Social Boundaries during the Early Agricultural and Basketmaker II Periods — Laurie D. Webster, University of Arizona

Early Farming Societies in the Desert Southwest — Jonathan B. Mabry, Tucson Historic Preservation Office

Research Wish List — Linda Cordell, School for Advanced Research

Back Sight — William H. Doelle, President & CEO, Center for Desert Archaeology

Supplemental Information — Jane Sliva’s Common Middle Archaic and Early Agricultural Period Points in Southern Arizona

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