3 - Introductory Archaeology Notes 3/3 Environment...

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Introductory Archaeology Notes 3/3 Environment & Landscapes Data o Settlement patterns o Paleobotany o Zooarchaeology o Paleoclimatology – study of ancient climates (Day After Tomorrow) To understand o Human-environment interaction o Environment & culture change Palynology and the “Classic Maya Collapse” Petén region, Guatemala Cities abandoned ca. AD 800 Lake bed cores – o Coring involves beating a PVC pipe into the sediments, pulling it up. You have all the strata stacked on top of one another. o Pollen sequences – deforestation When you completely deforest an entire area of land, the sediments, nutrients, etc. are carried away. Sedimentation – carried away soil nutrients
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Overpopulation? Soil nutrients depleted? Zooarchaeology and Pine Island Sound Caloosa – people living in this area. Over time they were getting smaller and smaller oysters. Whenever any fish species is under stress, they tend to get smaller. Oysters under stress – the oysters didn’t have enough time to mature before they were being harvested. 2 Hypotheses o Human over-exploitation? o Coastal pass changes? With every storm the barrier islands change shape. The passes (like Red Fish Pass) change location and shape. That means you have changes in the salinity of the water where the oysters are found. If the water become too saline, the oysters can die out or get smaller. “Geoarchaeology” and The Hohokam Irrigation agriculture o The Hohokam had the largest irrigation system in America o Most of their food was being grown Site abandonments & social changes at ca. AD 1150 Waters & Ravesloot o 19 th century Pima – famines caused by floods
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Pima had a lot of smaller scale irrigation systems which were ruined because of flooding. Since their canals were destroyed they were unable to grow food. o Same for Hohokam? o Geology & river bed changes – shortly before AD 1150 sediments were building up in the river beds so that might have been a result of massive floods.
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