Terminus Ante Quem Constraint of Pueblo Occupation Periods in the Jemez Province, New Mexico
Rio Grande glazeware
Terminus ante quem
AdvisorSwetnam, Thomas W.
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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.
AbstractUsing dendroecological and archaeological methods and data we investigated the temporal dynamics of forest regeneration and fire history following depopulation of four large Pueblo IV period (1300-1600) villages on the Jemez Plateau, New Mexico. With tree rings we reconstructed the timing of reforestation on village footprints after depopulation–a novel approach to terminus ante quem dating of site occupation. Our tree-ring based forest age structure and fire history chronologies enabled us to reduce by 51 to 70 years the range of previous estimates of village depopulation dates derived primarily from terminal ceramic assemblages. One of the four village sites we investigated was depopulated in 1696, two were depopulated between 1625 and 1700 CE, while the fourth village was depopulated earlier (pre 1500), but the area was likely in continued use for agriculture or other seasonal purposes until the mid-1600s. Our results indicate that the Jemez were highly influential ecological agents. Forest structure and fire regime dynamics changed greatly after the departure of most people from these landscapes after circa 1650 CE. The terminus ante quem methods that we demonstrate in the Jemez Mountains have strong potential to constrain and refine low temporal resolution chronologies of human occupation at archaeological sites within other forested ecosystems of the Southwest and elsewhere.
Degree ProgramGraduate College