Examining Agricultural Prehistoric Land Use Patterns Based on Soil Analysis in Petrified Forest National Park
AuthorStewart, Carlyn Celeste
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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.
AbstractA geoarchaeological study was conducted at Petrified Forest National Park to investigate prehistoric land use of the area by relating cultural deposits to Holocene environments. The field site may have been used for agriculture. The soil properties of five different micro-environments including a sand dune swale, the edge of a modern wash, a floodplain, a sand dune, and a sloping fan off of a mesa within this area were compared to see what types of prehistoric agricultural methods may have been successful within Petrified Forest and where they were used. Basic field methods included augering and in-field soil analysis of physical properties. The augering resulted in reconstruction of the stratigraphic sequence in the study site. The results concluded that the sediment from the sand dune swale exhibited all the properties necessary to successfully utilize the area for dune agriculture, a common method used by the Ancient Puebloans in arid environments, though other methods and areas were likely used as well.
Degree ProgramHonors College