Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture
392 pages, 6 x 9
12 halftones, 42 line illustrations, 4 maps
Release Date:13 Oct 2020
Release Date:02 Apr 2015
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Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture

Understanding the Past for the Future

The University of Arizona Press
Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture is the first of its kind. Each chapter considers four questions: what we don’t know about specific aspects of traditional agriculture, why we need to know more, how we can know more, and what research questions can be pursued to know more. What is known is presented to provide context for what is unknown.

Traditional agriculture, nonindustrial plant cultivation for human use, is practiced worldwide by millions of smallholder farmers in arid lands. Advancing an understanding of traditional agriculture can improve its practice and contribute to understanding the past. Traditional agriculture has been practiced in the U.S. Southwest and northwest Mexico for at least four thousand years and intensely studied for at least one hundred years. What is not known or well-understood about traditional arid lands agriculture in this region has broad application for research, policy, and agricultural practices in arid lands worldwide.

The authors represent the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, agronomy, art, botany, geomorphology, paleoclimatology, and pedology. This multidisciplinary book will engage students, practitioners, scholars, and any interested in understanding and advancing traditional agriculture. 
The lessons from arid lands agriculture in the past, highlighting what we know and don’t know, are strikingly relevant in the context of current challenges facing millions of smallholder farmers.’—Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director-General, Operations, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
This volume presents a thorough assessment of our current understanding but also sets a research agenda for years to come. No doubt countless research projects, theses, and dissertations will be inspired by this volume.’—Melissa Kruse Peeples, author of The Agricultural Landscape of Perry Mesa: Modeling Residential Site Location in Relation to Arable Land
Offers a fresh perspective by synthesizing past research and also presenting new methods and directions for future arid lands agricultural research.’—Ethnobiology Letters

‘This book is a welcome breath of fresh air, in that its contributors—again, all seasoned veterans—challenged tradition! The authors expose all the warts and blemishes in their respective areas of specialization, and they do so enthusiastically for the benefit of future scholars and future research.’—Journal of Anthological Research
Scott E. Ingram is a senior lecturer of anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he investigates human vulnerability to climate change, social and ecological sustainability, and long-term human and environmental interactions. 
Robert C. Hunt is a professor emeritus of anthropology at Brandeis University, where he researches economic and social structure and dynamics in human societies, with an emphasis on agriculture, irrigation, and systems of exchange.
Introduction. Traditional Arid Lands Agriculture: Known Unknowns
Scott E. Ingram and Robert C. Hunt

1. The Archaeology and Agronomy of Ancient Maize (Zea mays L.)
Karen R. Adams
2. Agricultural Soils of the Prehistoric Southwest: Known Unknowns
Jonathan Sandor and Jeffrey A. Homburg
3. Defining the Environmental Context of Indigenous Agriculture in the Southwest: What We Don’t Know about Middle to Late Holocene Climate Change and Floodplain Dynamics
Gary Huckleberry
4. Human Vulnerability to Dry Periods
Scott E. Ingram
5. Estimates of Prehistoric Irrigated Field Crop Productivity: Sonoran Desert
Robert C. Hunt
6. The Impact of Flooding on Hohokam Canal Irrigation Agriculture
Kyle Woodson
7. Water Fight: Archaeology, Litigation, and the Assessment of Precontact Canal Irrigation Technologies in the Northern Rio Grande Region
Michael Adler
8. Rain-Fed Farming and Settlement Aggregation: Reflections from Chihuahua, Mexico
Robert J. Hard, William L. Merrill, A. C. MacWilliams, John R. Roney, Jacob C. Freeman, and Karen R. Adams
9. The Archaeology of Ruderal Agriculture
Alan P. Sullivan III
10. Understanding the Agricultural Consequences of Aggregation
Suzanne K. Fish and Paul R. Fish
11. Precontact Agriculture in Northern New Mexico
Richard I. Ford and Roxanne Swentzell
12. What More We Need to Know about “Southwestern” Agriculture
Paul E. Minnis

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