Rational Behavior, the Adoption of Agriculture, and the Organization of Subsistence During the Late Archaic Period in the Greater Tucson Basin

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Abstract

Recent descriptions of Late Archaic Period land use in the greater Tucson Basin have described the Cienega phase occupants of the region as either (1) logistically organized with very- long distance hunting forays that adversely afFected the occupants of the montane areas of the Mogollon Rim, (2) fully sedentary with agricultural practices that were more or less identical to those of the later Hohokam, or (3) seasonally-sedentary forager-horticulturists. Using the interpretive framework of behavioral ecology and recently-excavated paleobotanical data, it is shown that the first two models are unlikely. Instead, Cienega Phase occupants of the Tucson Basin may best be characterized as seasonally-sedentary foragers, who made use of multiple residential locations throughout the year.

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