The Archaeological Geography of Small Architectural Sites of the Mogollon Plateau Region of East-Central Arizona
AuthorMehalic, David Steven
common pool resources
AdvisorMills, Barbara J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 03-Dec-2014
AbstractThis dissertation explores some of the thousands of smaller Native American archaeological sites with meager architectural elements commonly found along part of the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in east-central Arizona in an area known as the Mogollon Plateau. Small surface structures of less than five rooms were typically built of a combination of stone masonry and wattle and daub, and they are generally interpreted as evidence of repeated occupations of limited duration, primarily dating between AD 800 and 1300. Accordingly, these small sites have also served a number of roles in ongoing discussions of settlement systems and land use, and they present challenges for cultural resources management. The fundamental characteristics (or lack thereof) typically used to classify small sites have traditionally relegated them to settlement pattern studies rather than extensive excavation, generating a broad range of hypotheses concerning their significance and drawing heavily upon historical ecology. GIS methods are used to explore several ecologically and socially-driven models and examine the roles of small architectural sites in archaeological and systemic landscapes. Common pool resources offer some explanatory power regarding small sites, but some have suggested competition and conflict led to a "tragedy of the commons" and environmental degradation. Two primary site concentrations are identified, and the evidence supports an interpretation of extensive and sustainable use of the area, much of which seems to have been a frontier. Recommendations for research-driven management and preservation of cultural resources are provided.
Degree ProgramGraduate College