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The Cross-Scale Interplay between Social and Biophysical Context and the Vulnerability of Irrigation-dependent Societies: Archaeology’s Long-term Perspective

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dc.contributor.author Nelson, Margaret C.
dc.contributor.author Kintigh, Keith
dc.contributor.author Abbott, David R.
dc.contributor.author Anderies, John M.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-11T15:05:24Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-11T15:05:24Z
dc.date.issued 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7460
dc.description.abstract "What relationships can be understood between resilience and vulnerability in social-ecological systems? In particular, what vulnerabilities are exacerbated or ameliorated by different sets of social practices associated with water management? These questions have been examined primarily through the study of contemporary or recent historic cases. Archaeology extends scientific observation beyond all social memory and can thus illuminate interactions occurring over centuries or millennia. We examined trade-offs of resilience and vulnerability in the changing social, technological, and environmental contexts of three long-term, pre-Hispanic sequences in the U.S. Southwest: the Mimbres area in southwestern New Mexico (AD 650–1450), the Zuni area in northern New Mexico (AD 850–1540), and the Hohokam area in central Arizona (AD 700–1450). In all three arid landscapes, people relied on agricultural systems that depended on physical and social infrastructure that diverted adequate water to agricultural soils. However, investments in infrastructure varied across the cases, as did local environmental conditions. Zuni farming employed a variety of small-scale water control strategies, including centuries of reliance on small runoff agricultural systems; Mimbres fields were primarily watered by small-scale canals feeding floodplain fields; and the Hohokam area had the largest canal system in pre-Hispanic North America. The cases also vary in their historical trajectories: at Zuni, population and resource use remained comparatively stable over centuries, extending into the historic period; in the Mimbres and Hohokam areas, there were major demographic and environmental transformations. Comparisons across these cases thus allow an understanding of factors that promote vulnerability and influence resilience in specific contexts." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject agriculture en_US
dc.subject infrastructure en_US
dc.subject irrigation en_US
dc.subject resilience en_US
dc.subject vulnerability en_US
dc.subject water resources en_US
dc.subject social-ecological systems en_US
dc.title The Cross-Scale Interplay between Social and Biophysical Context and the Vulnerability of Irrigation-dependent Societies: Archaeology’s Long-term Perspective en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.subject.sector General & Multiple Resources en_US
dc.identifier.citationjournal Ecology and Society en_US
dc.identifier.citationvolume 15 en_US
dc.identifier.citationnumber 3 en_US
dc.identifier.citationmonth June en_US

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