Ancestral Pueblo farmers encountered the deep, well watered, and productive soils of the central Mesa Verde region of Southwest Colorado around A.D. 600, and within two centuries built some of the largest villages known up to that time in the U.S. Southwest. But one hundred years later, those villages were empty, and most people had gone. This cycle repeated itself from the mid-A.D. 1000s until 1280, when Puebloan farmers permanently abandoned the entire northern Southwest. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this book examines how climate change, population size, interpersonal conflict, resource depression, and changing social organization contribute to explaining these dramatic shifts. Comparing the simulations from agent-based models with the precisely dated archaeological record from this area, this text will interest archaeologists working in the Southwest and in Neolithic societies around the world as well as anyone applying modeling techniques to understanding how human societies shape, and are shaped by the environments we inhabit.
Preface and Acknowledgments 1 Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages in the Central Mesa Verde: An Introduction Timothy A. Kohler and Mark D. Varien 2 The Study Area and the Ancestral Pueblo Occupation Scott G. Ortman, Donna M. Glowacki, Mark D. Varien, and C. David Johnson 3 Low-Frequency Climate in the Mesa Verde Region: Beef Pasture Revisited Aaron M. Wright 4 Simulation Model Overview Timothy A. Kohler 5 Modeling Paleohydrologic System Structure and Function Kenneth E. Kolm and Schaun M. Smith 6 Modeling Agricultural Productivity and Farming Effort Timothy A. Kohler 7 Modeling Plant and Animal Productivity and Fuel Use C. David Johnson and Timothy A. Kohler 8 Supply, Demand, Return Rates, and Resource Depression: Hunting in the Village Ecodynamics World Jason A. Cowan, Timothy A. Kohler, C. David Johnson, Kevin Cooper, and R. Kyle Bocinsky 9 How Hunting Changes the VEP World, and How the VEP World Changes Hunting R. Kyle Bocinsky, Jason A. Cowan, Timothy A. Kohler, and C. David Johnson 10 Exercising the Model: Assessing Changes in Settlement Location and Efficiency Timothy A. Kohler, R. Kyle Bocinsky, Stefani Crabtree, and Ben Ford 11 Simulating Household Exchange with Cultural Algorithms Ziad Kobti 12 Tool-Stone Procurement in the Mesa Verde Core Region Through Time Fumiyasu Arakawa 13 Population Dynamics and Warfare in the Central Mesa Verde Region Sarah M. Cole 14 Characterizing Community Center (Village) Formation in the VEP Study Area, A.D. 600-1280 Donna M. Glowacki and Scott G. Ortman 15 The Rise and Collapse of Villages in the Central Mesa Verde Region Timothy A. Kohler Bibliography Appendix A Appendix B Notes on Contributors