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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1965/1969 → Soil, water, and man in the desert habitat of the Hohokam culture : an experimental study in environmental anthropology

University of Arizona (1965)

Soil, water, and man in the desert habitat of the Hohokam culture : an experimental study in environmental anthropology

El-Zur, Arieh

Titre : Soil, water, and man in the desert habitat of the Hohokam culture : an experimental study in environmental anthropology

Auteur : El-Zur, Arieh

Université de soutenance : University of Arizona

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1965

Résumé
The proposition that environment is of equal importance to time and space in the study of culture suggests that a three-dimensional approach may be a useful method for studying the process of cultural evolution. This possibility is tested by detailed investigations into the history and natural habitat of the prehistoric Hohokam Culture. This culture developed an extensive system of irrigation agriculture in the Gila River valley of southern Arizona about A. D. 1-1400. The study is carried out on the processual as well as analytical level of enquiry whereby primary attention was given to the relationship between environment and culture. This emphasis is particularly relevant in the case of the arid conditions of the region in which the Hohokani Culture developed. The interaction of the primary environmental agents, water and soil, and the cultural agent, prehistoric man, is delineated in terms of the natural processes of soil development and movement of water in the region as well as the cultural process of irrigation agriculture. During all phases of the River liohokarn Culture the relationship between soil, water, and man was interdependent and their functional interaction was exposed to the forces of the active environment, which may have become critical. An attempt is made to arrive at an interpretation along these lines for the terminal period of the Hohokam Culture at Snaketown, a major prehistoric site near Chandler, Arizona. While no definite conclusions are derived, the evidence, presented by means of inferential analysis, points strongly towards environmental causation. The impact of the prevailing climatic conditions at the end of the 13th century may have upset the precarious balance between water and soil and thus the livelihood of the desert dwellers. These events led inevitably to the termination of the Hohokam Culture.

Mots clés : Hydrology. ; Hohokam culture. ; Arid regions ecology. ; Indians of North America — Southwest, New — Antiquities. ; Human ecology.

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Page publiée le 22 février 2016, mise à jour le 20 décembre 2016