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Population Aggregation in the Prehistoric American Southwest: A Selectionist Model

  • Robert D. Leonard (a1) and Heidi E. Reed (a2)

Abstract

The settlement practices of the prehistoric Anasazi of the North American Southwest exhibited shifts from the occupation of dispersed settlements to aggregated villages in many locales both concurrently and at different times. Explaining the nature and timing of these shifts has long been a focus of interest to researchers working in the Southwest. We present a model that outlines the relations among population growth, population dispersion and aggregation, regional abandonments, the nature of specialized systems of production, labor organization, climatic change, and the role of natural selection in producing evolutionary explanations. We offer the hypothesis that aggregation is the product of changes in the organization of corporate labor related to the stabilization of specialized strategies of resource production in response to changes in environmental conditions.

Resumen

Los patrones de asentamiento de los prehistóricos Anasazi del suroeste norteamericano dieron muestras de un cambio desde la ocupación de patrones de asentamiento dispersos a aldeas agregadas en muchos lugares tanto simultaneamente como en tiempos diferentes. El explicar la naturaleza y el tiempo de estos cambios ha sido por mucho tiempo un foco de interés de los investigadores que trabajan en el suroeste. Exponemos un modelo que delínea las relaciones entre aumento de población, la dispersión y la agregación de población, el abandono de regiones, la naturaleza de sistemas especializados de producción, la organización de trabajo, el cambio climático, y el papel de la selección natural en la producción de explicaciones evolutivas. Ofrecemos la hipótesis de que agregación es el producto de cambios en la organización de trabajo conjunto en relación con la estabilización de las estrategias especializadas de producción de recursos en respuesta a los cambios en las condiciones ambientales

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References

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Population Aggregation in the Prehistoric American Southwest: A Selectionist Model

  • Robert D. Leonard (a1) and Heidi E. Reed (a2)

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