Ancient occupation of the American Southwest was full of uncertainty. Precipitation was unreliable, and sufficient edible plants and animal resources were linked to the productivity of the environment. Communities had to be resourceful and flexible in the face of scarcity. To ensure reliable food sources, ancient peoples often stored crops and other plant foods in sealed masonry structures, or granaries, protected in alcoves high on canyon walls. This thesis research compares ancient methods for coping with scarcity by examining the presence of patterns in prehispanic granary construction in the Grand Canyon and the Fiftymile Mountain region of Grand Staircase-Escalante. Granaries in the two regions date between A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1250 and are associated with three main cultural groups: the Kayenta branch of the Ancestral Puebloans, the Virgin branch of the Ancestral Puebloans, and the Cohonina. Food storage practices are analyzed using adaptive concepts of optimization and risk minimization, adding to the understanding of the complex nature of human interaction with the environment. Although similar Ancestral Puebloan groups occupied the Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante, the results of the research show variability in how granaries were incorporated into scarcity management.
|Commitee:||Parsons, Michelle, Smiley, Francis|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Corn, Food, Granary, Storage|
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