Publications by authors named "Keith W Kintigh"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Exploration and exploitation in the macrohistory of the pre-Hispanic Pueblo Southwest.

Sci Adv 2016 Apr 1;2(4):e1501532. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4910, USA.; Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Cortez, CO 81321, USA.; Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA.

Cycles of demographic and organizational change are well documented in Neolithic societies, but the social and ecological processes underlying them are debated. Such periodicities are implicit in the "Pecos classification," a chronology for the pre-Hispanic U.S. Southwest introduced in Science in 1927 which is still widely used. To understand these periodicities, we analyzed 29,311 archaeological tree-ring dates from A.D. 500 to 1400 in the context of a novel high spatial resolution, annual reconstruction of the maize dry-farming niche for this same period. We argue that each of the Pecos periods initially incorporates an "exploration" phase, followed by a phase of "exploitation" of niches that are simultaneously ecological, cultural, and organizational. Exploitation phases characterized by demographic expansion and aggregation ended with climatically driven downturns in agricultural favorability, undermining important bases for social consensus. Exploration phases were times of socio-ecological niche discovery and development.
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April 2016

Climate challenges, vulnerabilities, and food security.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 Jan 28;113(2):298-303. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Anthropology Department, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY 10065;

This paper identifies rare climate challenges in the long-term history of seven areas, three in the subpolar North Atlantic Islands and four in the arid-to-semiarid deserts of the US Southwest. For each case, the vulnerability to food shortage before the climate challenge is quantified based on eight variables encompassing both environmental and social domains. These data are used to evaluate the relationship between the "weight" of vulnerability before a climate challenge and the nature of social change and food security following a challenge. The outcome of this work is directly applicable to debates about disaster management policy.
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January 2016