Southwestern US Geoarchaeology
Application of earth science methods and concepts to archaeological research conducted in Arizona, New Mexico, and adjacent areas within the USA.
Formal geoarchaeological research in the southwestern USA began in the 1920s and focused on geological dating and environmental reconstruction at archaeological sites. Today, geoarchaeological investigations address a variety of topics of interest to the academic and cultural resource management (CRM) communities. Those practicing geoarchaeology in the southwestern USA include geologists, geographers, soil scientists, and archaeologists. Studies of soils, geomorphology, and paleoclimate help to define the environmental context of the cultural record and provide a framework for assessing archaeological site visibility and preservation. Geoarchaeology also increases knowledge of the region’s more than 4000 years history of agriculture, including the construction of waterworks for irrigation. Other geoarchaeological...
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