Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Determining Prehistoric Horticultural Potential in Jones Hole Canyon, Utah

Class

Article

Department

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Faculty Mentor

Judson Finley

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Jones Hole Canyon, east of the Uinta Basin, experienced a population increase between 900 - 1300 AD, roughly coincident with reductions in farming populations in the Uinta Basin. The subsistence economy of these Fremont-era occupants of Jones Hole remains unresolved: did they forage like the canyon's Archaic Period predecessors, or did they grow some of their own food like their neighbors in the Uinta Basin? Assessing the horticultural suitability of Jones Hole Canyon is the first step to answering this fundamental question. We model environmental constraints on maize cultivation in Jones Hole Canyon, in particular precipitation, to determine whether the Fremont had horticultural investment available as a possibility. A GIS model of horticultural suitability indicates that Jones Hole Canyon can presently support maize cultivation, and work is underway to develop a proxy record of precipitation which can extend this model to reconstruct prehistoric horticultural suitability.

Start Date

4-9-2015 11:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 11:00 AM

Determining Prehistoric Horticultural Potential in Jones Hole Canyon, Utah

Jones Hole Canyon, east of the Uinta Basin, experienced a population increase between 900 - 1300 AD, roughly coincident with reductions in farming populations in the Uinta Basin. The subsistence economy of these Fremont-era occupants of Jones Hole remains unresolved: did they forage like the canyon's Archaic Period predecessors, or did they grow some of their own food like their neighbors in the Uinta Basin? Assessing the horticultural suitability of Jones Hole Canyon is the first step to answering this fundamental question. We model environmental constraints on maize cultivation in Jones Hole Canyon, in particular precipitation, to determine whether the Fremont had horticultural investment available as a possibility. A GIS model of horticultural suitability indicates that Jones Hole Canyon can presently support maize cultivation, and work is underway to develop a proxy record of precipitation which can extend this model to reconstruct prehistoric horticultural suitability.