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Crabtree S.A.,Washington State University | Kohler T.A.,Washington State University | Kohler T.A.,Santa Fe Institute | Kohler T.A.,Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2012

Agent-based modelling provides a means for understanding both contemporary and future systems, and also the archaeological past. This article explores the appeal of agent-based modelling for understanding archaeological societies. Taken from the 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science meetings, this paper and the following papers help advance our understanding of both real and modelled systems. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Gonzales D.A.,Fort Lewis College | Arakawa F.,New Mexico State University | Arakawa F.,Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Koenig A.,U.S. Geological Survey
Geoarchaeology | Year: 2015

Previous researchers proposed that trachybasalt temper with "poikilitic" sanidine, found in pottery from the Mesa Verde region of the American Southwest, was procured along the eastern Chuska Mountains. This served as one line of evidence that Chaco Canyon was a regional trade center linked to the Chuska Mountains in the ninth to thirteenth centuries. Recent geologic studies, however, revealed other potential sources for the trachybasalt temper. A comparison of petrographic features and geochemical signatures of poikilitic sanidine in rock samples and potsherds shows no definitive correlation of temper materials and a specific geologic source. Several outcrops of trachybasalt are identified as less viable prospects, but the results do not support the idea that the sanidine-rich temper was exclusively gathered in the Chuska Mountains. This conclusion opens up the possibility that raw materials were gathered from local sources that were more accessible, reducing the dependence on a regional trade center. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Witt K.E.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Judd K.,Washington State University | Kitchen A.,University of Iowa | Grier C.,Washington State University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2015

As dogs have traveled with humans to every continent, they can potentially serve as an excellent proxy when studying human migration history. Past genetic studies into the origins of Native American dogs have used portions of the hypervariable region (HVR) of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to indicate that prior to European contact the dogs of Native Americans originated in Eurasia. In this study, we summarize past DNA studies of both humans and dogs to discuss their population histories in the Americas. We then sequenced a portion of the mtDNA HVR of 42 pre-Columbian dogs from three sites located in Illinois, coastal British Columbia, and Colorado, and identify four novel dog mtDNA haplotypes. Next, we analyzed a dataset comprised of all available ancient dog sequences from the Americas to infer the pre-Columbian population history of dogs in the Americas. Interestingly, we found low levels of genetic diversity for some populations consistent with the possibility of deliberate breeding practices. Furthermore, we identified multiple putative founding haplotypes in addition to dog haplotypes that closely resemble those of wolves, suggesting admixture with North American wolves or perhaps a second domestication of canids in the Americas. Notably, initial effective population size estimates suggest at least 1000 female dogs likely existed in the Americas at the time of the first known canid burial, and that population size increased gradually over time before stabilizing roughly 1200 years before present. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Kuckelman K.A.,Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
American Antiquity | Year: 2010

Archaeologists in the Mesa Verde region of the American Southwest have long sought the catalysts of the complete depopulation of the region by Pueblo farmers in the late thirteenth century. Ten years of excavations by the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center at Sand Canyon Pueblo, a large village that was occupied from approximately A.D. 1250 to 1280, yielded abundant data regarding the depopulation of the village and shed new light on causes of this intriguing regional emigration. Comparative analyses of faunal and archaeobotanical remains from middens vs. abandonment assemblages reveal a shift from farming to hunting and gathering that coincided with the onset of the Great Drought about A.D. 1276. Osteological and taphonomic analyses of human remains found in abandonment contexts reveal details of an attack during which many residents were killed and that ended the occupation of the village. These findings from Sand Canyon Pueblo suggest that climate-induced food stress and consequent violent conflict contributed to the depopulation of the Mesa Verde region in the late A.D. 1200s. Copyright © 2010 by the Society for American Archaeology.

Adams K.R.,Crow Canyon Archaeological Center | Johnson K.L.,California State University, Chico | Murphy T.M.,University of California at Davis
Journal of Field Archaeology | Year: 2015

Unburned yucca (Yucca) quids with wild tobacco (Nicotiana) contents have been preserved within Antelope Cave in northwestern Arizona. Although the cave was visited during the Archaic, Southern Paiute, and Euro-American periods, material culture remains and radiocarbon dates indicate the heaviest use by the Virgin Anasazi (A.D. 1-1000). Quids are wads of fiber twisted or knotted into a ball for insertion into the mouth. Ten of the quids examined were clearly made from the fibers of Yucca plants, based on 6-7 base pairs identified via analysis of DNA sequences near the trnL gene of chloroplastic DNA. Twenty-seven of thirty quids examined were wrapped around a range of wild tobacco (Nicotiana) plant parts (e.g., capsule, seed, calyx, pedicel, main stem, leaf). Quids have been interpreted as serving various needs (food, ceremonial/ritual, other). The inclusion of tobacco and the diverse recovery contexts suggest the Antelope Cave quids provided occupants with a personal stimulant experience. © Trustees of Boston University 2015.

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