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Impacts of Climatic Variabiity and Population Growth on Virgin Branch Anasazi Cultural Developments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Daniel O. Larson
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840-5802
Joel Michaelsen
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Abstract

Two major drought episodes, A.D. 1000 to 1015 and A.D. 1120 to 1150, contributed to significant change in adaptive strategies of the Virgin Branch Anasazi, a prehistoric population that occupied the southwestern Great Basin between A.D. 100 and A.D. 1150. The first extreme climatic event promoted the adoption of several alternative buffering strategies including intensive agricultural practices, increased reliance on storage, and the organization of large residential labor groups. The second drought, which followed 150 years of favorable climatic conditions and high levels of population growth, had a devastating impact upon the Virgin Branch Anasazi resulting in the complete abandonment of the southwestern Great Basin by that group. These two climatic events required entirely different responses, which suggest that shifts in climate are best viewed as triggering culture change. The preconditions of population growth set the various levels of sensitivity to extreme climatic events and determine the precise nature of the culture changes.

Résumé

Résumé

Dos episodios mayores de sequedad, de 100 to 1015 D.C. y de 1120 a 1150 D.C., contribuyeron a un cambio importante en estrategias adaptivas de los Virgin Branch Anasazi, un grupo prehistórico lo cual se ocupó la gran cuenca entre 100 y 1150 D.C. El primer evento climático promovió la adopción de algunas estrategias amortiguadores alternativas, los cuales se incluyeron la agricultura intensa, el uso aumentado de espacio para almacenar, y la organización (para trabajar) de grandes grupos residentiales. El segundo episodio de sequedad, lo cual seguió una temporado de clima benigno que duro 150 años y niveles aumentados en la población, apretó fuerte los Virgin Branch Anasazi. Este resultó en el abandono del parte sudoeste de la gran cuenca por aquel grupo. Estos dos episodios necesitaron resupuestas muy diferentes, sugeriendo que se pueda ver mas claramente los desviaciones de clima como mechanismos de dispara para el cambio de cultura. Los prerequisitos para el aumento de poblacion determinan los varios niveles de sensitividad a los episodios climaticos que son muy extremos, y tambien determinan el carácter preciso de los cambios culturales.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1990

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