Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















CLIMATE SCIENCE
Periods of boom and bust just part of life in the ancient Southwest
by Brooks Hays
Pullman, Wash. (UPI) Apr 1, 2016


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The disappearance of the Pueblo people of the American Southwest has long puzzled scientists, but the archaeological records shows it's not at all surprising.

The ancient history of the Southwest is ripe with periods of boom and bust. A new study highlights four major cultural shifts that preceded the Pueblos' last vanishing act.

Researchers at Washington State University looked at a combination of climate and cultural data from 1,000 southwest archaeological sites and some 30,000 tree-ring dates. Their analysis identified four instances of drought followed by significant cultural shifts.

Climate change not only inspired people to abandon settlements and relocate, but also rethink their entire way of life.

The Pueblo people's maize-based agriculture was "woven together with a web of ceremony and ritual that required belief in the supernatural," Tim Kohler, archaeologist and Washington State professor, explained in a press release.

When crops failed, people questioned their entire belief structure -- they went back to the map and the cultural drawing board.

"Then there's a point where people say, 'This isn't working. We're leaving,'" Kohler said.

Prior to each shift, the people of the American Southwest experience periods of cultural exploration.

"There's a new period of wealth creation, investment in architecture and culture change," explained Kohler.

After a mild drought interrupted growth in the year 700, the Pueblos stopped storing maize in communal underground chambers and began keeping private stashes, controlled by households or family groups, in rooms above ground. This period, known as Pueblo I, ended with a large drought in 890.

The next period of exploration, Pueblo II, featured large, shared plazas and great houses in Chaco Canyon near what is now Mesa Verde, Colorado.

"We're talking some of the largest -- actually, the largest -- prehistoric masonry structures in North America north of Mexico," said Kohler. "These things are huge."

The boom time was again interrupted by drought in 1145.

Pueblo III featured the most social inequality of any period and peaked around 1250. The expansion period ended with the largest of the four droughts.

Pueblo IV featured a return to more egalitarian social structures.

"It's as if everybody has equal access to where all the important stuff happens," said Kyle Bocinsky, an anthropologist at Washington State. "That's been interpreted as being far more egalitarian in how people were organizing themselves as a society than what we see during any of the previous periods."

Kohler and Bocinsky say the motivation to rethink social, economic and political structures in the wake of disaster is something seen today with the currents populism running through the 2016 presidential campaigns.

"A lot of the nation has not recovered since 2008, and what you're seeing is a populist movement to radically reorganize the way that politics is done in this country," said Bocinsky. "We're seeing that need to reorganize four times in the Pueblo record."

The researchers published their findings in the journal Science Advances.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
CLIMATE SCIENCE
Palaeosol loess shed light on early Pleistocene climate
Kazan, Russia (SPX) Mar 31, 2016
Famous for its deserts, arid central Asia (ACA) is one of the driest regions in the mid-latitudes and one of the main potential dust sources for the northern hemisphere. The mobilization, transportation, and deposition of Asian dust played an important role in global mineral dust cycles and had a prolonged and profound impact on global climate changes via direct effects on Earth's radiative bala ... read more


CLIMATE SCIENCE
Red Cross says more funds needed in wake of Fiji super cyclone

Japan's Nuclear Watchdog OKs Use of Soil Freezing for Protection of Water

Insurance for an uncertain climate

TEPCO bungles Fukushima cleanup as robots damaged by Radiation

CLIMATE SCIENCE
For the first time scientists can observe the nano structure of food in 3-D

A new model for how twisted bundles take shape

More efficient system for the synthesis of organic compounds

Study finds metal foam handles heat better than steel

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Severe water stress likely in Asia by 2050

Sea-level rise could nearly double over earlier estimates in next 100 years

Tracking 'marine heatwaves' since 1950 - and how the 'blob' stacks up

Beach replenishment may have 'far reaching' impacts on ecosystems

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Sea-Level rise from Antarctic ice sheet could double

Greenland melting tied to shrinking Arctic sea ice

2016 Arctic Sea Ice Wintertime Extent Hits Another Record Low

Digging deeper: Study improves permafrost models, reduces uncertainties

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Study finds wide-reaching impact of nitrogen deposition on plants

McDonald's to add 1,500 outlets in China, Hong Kong, SKorea

Laser reveals water's secret life in soil

One crop breeding cycle from starvation

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Researchers reproduce mechanism of slow earthquakes

Ancient super-eruptions in Yellowstone much larger than expected

Wetland enhancement in Midwest could help reduce catastrophic floods of the future

Pakistan rains leave 42 dead: officials

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Drought-hit Somalia at 'tipping point': UN

Rwanda jails top military figures for 20 yrs for 'inciting revolt'

France to end military operation in C.Africa this year

Kenya ivory amnesty ahead of record-breaking tusk burning

CLIMATE SCIENCE
Neuronal feedback could change what we 'see'

Study of Japanese hunter-gatherers suggests violence isn't inherent

Study: Indonesian 'hobbits' likely died out sooner than thought

Diet shaped human evolution




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement