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Cultural Resources Priority Area Planning in Sub-Mogollon Arizona and New Mexico1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 January 2017

Andy Laurenzi
Affiliation:
Archaeology Southwest, 300 North Ash Alley, Tucson, AZ 85701
Matthew A. Peeples
Affiliation:
Archaeology Southwest, 300 North Ash Alley, Tucson, AZ 85701
William H. Doelle
Affiliation:
Archaeology Southwest, 300 North Ash Alley, Tucson, AZ 85701

Abstract

Regional planning is an essential element of comprehensive archaeological management programs. Most regional planning efforts in archaeology focus on predictive modeling to distinguish areas based on the likelihood of encountering archaeological resources. We discuss a complementary approach that uses known sites and expert opinion to identify spatially explicit cultural resource preservation priorities. Loosely analogous to biodiversity conservation planning, priority cultural resource assessments provide an evolving vision of an archaeological reserve network which, if managed appropriately, could protect a significant part of our cultural heritage. We outline an efficient approach to identifying spatially explicit Priority Areas within portions of Arizona and New Mexico. This information complements assessments of individual site eligibility for purposes of listing on the National Register of Historic Places by providing an added layer of regionally contextualized information at larger geographic scales. By establishing priorities, this information can also enhance cultural resource considerations in local, state, and federal land use planning. While our consideration of significance is based on the potential information content of the resource, we argue that this planning process can easily incorporate other cultural resource values and help to address preservation actions in support of this broader set of values.

La planeación regional es un elemento esencial de cualquier programa de manejo integral de sitios arqueológicos. Hasta ahora, la mayor parte de los esfuerzos en torno a la planeación regional en la arqueología han utilizado el modelo predictivo para distinguir áreas potenciales con recursos arqueológicos. Aunque no precisamente análoga a la conservación de la biodiversidad, la prioridad de los recursos culturales durante la planeación es similar al establecimiento de una red de reservas arqueológicas en constante evolución, que de ser manejadas apropiadamente, podrían proteger una parte significativa de nuestro patrimonio cultural por generaciones. Nosotros esbozamos un método directo y de bajo costo para identificar áreas prioritarias, espacialmente explícitas, en una gran parte del sureste de Arizona y el suroeste de Nuevo México. Inicialmente destinado como una herramienta de manejo para guiar los esfuerzos privados y públicos de protección de los recursos, la información generada tiene una aplicación más amplia. En lo particular, la planeación prioritaria va más allá de las evaluaciones de elegibilidad y del significado individual del sitio con el propósito de enlistarlo en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos, al proporcionar una capa adicional de información regional contextualizada para escalas geográficas más grandes. Nosotros argumentamos que dicho proceso de planeación puede ayudarnos a abordar con mayor eficacia un rango más amplio de valores de los recursos culturales y afrontar las oportunidades de preservación.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Society for American Archaeology 2013

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Footnotes

1.

Sub-Mogollon Arizona includes those portions of Arizona and New Mexico that lie south of the Mogollon Rim, an escarpment defining the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau.

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