Manual Prehistory of the Rustler Hills: Granado Cave (Texas Archaeology and Ethnohistory)

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Higher elevation mountains support sky island ecosystems that are more pine Pinus spp. Archeological remains demonstrate that this area was culturally distinct throughout prehistory, but more prominently so in the Late Prehistoric period. In terms of distinguishing the Eastern Trans-Pecos from other archeological regions, the Southern Plains to the north of the study area show higher mobility and greater emphasis on bison Bison bison procurement Perula Within the Lower Pecos to the southeast groups did not utilize the Livermore, Diablo, Means, and Alazan arrow points in their hunting equipment nor is the Cielo Complex present within the region Mallouf Within the Eastern Trans-Pecos the Late Prehistoric period is demarcated by the reliance on bow and arrow hunting technology with diagnostic arrow point types including Livermore, Toyah, Perdiz, and Fresno see Turner et al.

Poery was minimally utilized throughout this era, with wares of local created within the La Junta District and exotic origin originating from northern Mexico, the Western Trans-Pecos, central and southern New Mexico, and far East Texas Cloud ; Cloud et al. Although horticulture occurred in the region, it was solely within the La Junta District; cultigens are not examined in this study, as it focuses specically on Late Prehistoric era hunter-gatherers and their collecting practices.

Additionally, two primary archeological hunter-gatherer groups have been identied in the archeological record: the Livermore phase and the Cielo Complex. Livermore Phase Dened by Kelley et al. At this time the Livermore PAGE 4 4phase remains poorly dened, although elements of mountain-top ritualism and material culture remains are known Seebach Projectile points typically found in association with one another include the Livermore, Toyah, and Fresno Mallouf as well as Diablo, Means, and Alazan Mallouf Mountain-top ritualism is noted because of the presence of two large arrow point caches, the Livermore and Means caches, atop two mountainous peaks in the study area Mallouf Kelley posits that the Livermore phase indicates an incursion of Plains-based hunter-gatherers, while Mallouf cautions that the archeological culture it represents may be that of an indigenous group.

Cielo Complex Another hunter-gatherer group in the study area, the Cielo Complex ca. Classic Cielo Complex sites have stacked stone-based wickiup structures atop readily defendable locations at both long term and short term locales Mallouf Cielo Complex groups predominately utilized the Perdiz arrow point, but Garza and Soto points become more common later in prehistory Mallouf Other chipped stone tool types include blades, blade drills, formal end scrapers, beveled knives, and prismatic blade cores.

Mallouf suggests the Cielo Complex may be ancestral to the Protohistoric and Historic era Jumano, while Mallouf also hypothesizes that this archeological complex could be the remains of one or more indigenous groups in the region. Relying on Spanish accounts it is understood that the majority of the Eastern Trans-Pecos inhabitants were hunter-gatherers during the Protohistoric period A. Later, during the Historic Era A. Although these relationships are obviously dierent e. With the understanding that all cultural groups have some sort of relationship with the landscape they inhabit, this study utilizes for the examination of biotic community relationships a spatial ecological proxy currently used by modern entities within the Eastern Trans-Pecos for natural resource management.

The ESD system is based on ecological stable state theory, wherein an ecosystem can experience a variety of stable states depending largely upon incipient ecological disturbance regimes Beisner et al. Once these disturbance regimes are altered e. Upon entering its transition the ecosystem can revert to the previous stable state, if the original disturbance regime returns, or enter a different stable state USDA-NRCS et al.

It should be noted that this system only applies to small scale changes and not to more massive ecological transitions such as occurred in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. However, the introduction of Old World plant taxa to the Americas is demonstrated in ecological sites as transitions away from the historic climax plant community. Another key component to the ESD system is that the distinct plant communities can remain stable for extended periods of time USDA et al.

Additionally, the entities involved with implementing the ESD system rely heavily upon paleoenvironmental data, historic accounts, and historic ecological data, as well as reference communities that possess lile anthropogenic alteration since Euro-American selement to dene historic plant communities USDA-NRCS et al. At this point the ESD system has not been fully completed for the study areaspecically that the species composition data for the historic climax plant community have not been determinedbut the spatial extent of 70 ecological sites is currently available.

How this shortcoming was dealt with analytically is described in later portions of this article.


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Implications of the incomplete ESD System are quantied as is the degree of botanical taxa diversity within each site catchment area. Finally, a series of queries and comparisons are undertaken to best understand a the applicability of historic group diet to prehistoric group diet as well as b determining the applicability of ESD historic climax plant community descriptions within archeological methodological frameworks.

Approximately 84 m3 of the deposits were excavated via 19 hand excavated units and four backhoe trenches. Eight stratigraphic zones were encountered with occupations in Zone IV beginning around A.

Twenty-seven radiocarbon dates were obtained to date this zone. Investigations indicate that the Arroyo de la Presa site was predominantly a plant processing location based on feature types and macrobotanical analyses of feature contents. Specic for this analysis, 33 matrix samples were analyzed for macrobotanical remains from 12 features: three stone hearths, ve pits, two re-cracked rock FCR concentrations within pits, a pavement of FCR, and a ring midden Cloud Evidence from a plant-lined storage pit demonstrate that the rockshelter was primarily used as a locale for plant food gathering, processing, and storage Seebach Seebach also postulates that this site was utilized by La Junta District forager-farmers to gather local plant species before transporting them back to villages along the Rio Grande and Rio Conchos.

Botanical food sources were identied through pollen analysis of 16 human coprolites, one colon sample, and 10 sediment samples from human burials. Eight radiocarbon dates were gathered from a hot rock oven facility and indicated that site use dated from A. Within this time frame the facility was used four times as a oven for processing members with side scrapers of the Agavaceae family. A crescent midden and hot rock baking pit Feature 3 received the most aention during the excavations.


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Ten otation and three macrobotanical samples were analyzed for macrobotanical remains Antiquities Planning and Consulting PAGE 8 8Ethnographic and Ethnohistoric Comparisons To determine the degree to which Late Prehistoric groups utilized available plant species as food resources, the recorded diet of the historic Mescalero Apache is used for comparative analysis.

Additionally, archeological information from the Cielo Bravo site indicates that possible Athabascan speakers not only used the same site, but also occupied the same habitation features, as previous residents had done see Mallouf [] for further discussion.

Hypothetically, dietary acculturation could have taken place in the Eastern Trans-Pecos by means of cultural contact or absorption. Examination of the literature indicate that dietary acculturation processes have never been examined in an archeological context but are increasing in number in applied anthropology situations to beer understand processes of globalization e. From an environmental deterministic perspective all Apachean groups would have needed to alter their diet to accommodate their adoption and use of resources in newly entered regions.

Although two routes for ancestral Apachean migrations have been proposed mountain [Seymour ] or plains [Wilcox ] routes , the Chihuahuan Desert is vastly dierent ecologically than any area Athabascan speakers originated from or moved through. If the newly arrived Apachean groups had not adapted their diet to the new environment, their likelihood of survival would have been greatly diminished. No aempt was made to identify aspects of cultural change or conditions for the adoption of practices from the host group s. Future studies should be concerned with establishing the reasons for this dietary similarity as it may relate to dietary acculturation in order to beer understand the cultural changes Apachean groups underwent aer arriving in the American Southwest and Texas.

PAGE 9 9 To determine how similar Late Prehistoric and Historic era native plant diet are, an examination of the ethnographic literature is needed. Casteer and Oplers exemplary study of plant use by Mescalero and Chiricahua Apache was undertaken from During this three year period a variety of data was gathered from ethnographic eldwork on the Mescalero Reservation in south central New Mexico that was concerned with the botanical characteristics of Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache cultures Casteer and Opler Most importantly for this study, 70 dierent plant taxa were identied for food use, and information was gathered as well concerning their preparation strategies.

As such, Casteer and Oplers study provides the greatest amount of ethnographic information specic to plant diet compared to a second Mescalero Apache ethnobiological study by Basehart In contrast to the work completed by Casteer and Opler , the study by Basehart was undertaken primarily to beer understand the subsistence paerns and political organization of the Mescalero Apache.

Interviews and eld work were undertaken on the Mescalero Reservation from I am most concerned with the subsistence paerns described by Basehart , because while Basehart did not identify as many plant taxa as Casteer and Opler , he did identify the staples of native plant diet as well as seasonal movements to procure these resources. When taken together these two data sources indicate 70 different native plant taxa constituted the plant-heavy diet of the Mescalero Apache Castetter and Opler Seasonally, this group relied heavily upon three taxa: agave Agave spp.

Small seeds from grasses, berries, greens, pion e. Spatial Data Extraction e exploitation of a plant community for native plant food resources from an archeological context is gained through knowledge of both plant communities and paleoethnobotanical remains, as well as comparisons with ethnographically described cultures of the same or similar geographic areas.

To collect this knowledge, spatial and comparative analyses were undertaken to determine locally available dietary plant species use in hunter-gatherer and forager-farmer diets. Because only portions of Hudspeth, Je Davis, Presidio, and Terrell counties are within the Eastern Trans-Pecos archeological region, a georeferenced regional map from Cloud and Piehl was outlined PAGE 10 10and the counties clipped to the study area.

Ethnographic information has generally concluded that the maximum one day catchment for individuals gathering plant resources is 15 kilometers km Kelly Although the foraging radius from these sites may be smaller, by utilizing the maximum distance all possible variation in the distribution of plant resources is incorporated into the analysis. For the spatial analysis a 15 km buer was generated around each site location and a union performed between the reconstructed foraging radii and the ecological site names layers Figures 3 and 4.

It should be noted that this analysis does not account for the consequences of terrain variability and labor expenditure in gathering plant resources but instead seeks to analyze the maximum possible ecological variability that occurs around these specic archaeological sites.

Here R is the total number of species in the site catchment and pi the proportion of S made up of the i th species Shannon and Weaver Results of this index are relative and the value increases as the number of unique taxa increases McGarigal et al. A table was also generated to determine the number of unique taxa within each taxa, as well as the number of taxa which are encountered multiple times within the site catchment.

With this index the closer the result E is to 1 the more evenly distributed species are on the landscape McGarigal et al. Identifying which ecological sites are present within the reconstructed foraging catchment was determined by copying the relevant aribute data from the ecological site name-foraging radii spatial union. For determining plant taxon composition the ESD System for Rangeland and Forestland Data was accessed and the species copied and pasted into an Excel spreadsheet. Species composition missing from the ESD System for Rangeland and Forestland Data was then incorporated into the plant community spreadsheets.

In order to compare the sizeable amount of botanical data, a table was developed that compared the prehistoric diet from each archeological site to the wild plant foods utilized by the Historic Mescalero Apache available within the site catchments.

Before an examination of the archeological-ethnohistoric comparisons, the missing plant species data from the ecological proxy must be addressed. Two major hurdles encountered in the comparative analysis was the presence of areas with no dened ecological site within the site catchments and the existence of dened ecological sites with no available plant species composition data. Analytical implications for this primarily relate to not knowing the full vegetative suite within the ecological sites.

Prehistory of the Rustler Hills Granado Cave By Donny L. Hamilton

Table 1 identies the percentage of site catchment areas that have unknown ecological sites, known ecological sites with no historic climax community plant taxa data, and known ecological sites with historic climax community plant taxa data. In the future it is expected that this missing data will gradually be included. It should be noted that none of the site catchments have complete ecological data and these values will potentially change in the future. Table 2. Known vs. Unfortunately, these two ecological sites account for However, for the six plant communities which do have known compositions, there are 97 plant taxa available see Table 1.

Of the plant species 14 One taxa is present in the archeo-dietary record, grape Vitis sp.