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Internal strife contributed to the collapse of ancient Pueblo societies ~ Missoula Current – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-05-01 09:41:13 –

Dustin Manduffy (Courthouse News)April 27, 2021

Droughts are often blamed on the regular turmoil of ancient Pueblo society in the southwestern United States, but in studies that can affect the modern world, archaeologists slowly build up social tensions. Found evidence that may have played a key role in the three dramatic cataclysms of Pueblo development. (Credit: Mesa Verde National Park)

(CN) — The ancient Pueblos lived in the entire area of ​​the Colorado Plateau between 500 and 1300 AD, from central New Mexico in the west to southern Nevada in the west. Like modern residents, their societies experienced long-term wealth inequality, racial injustice, and general anxiety — it was not a good omen.

These diseases were lacking in social cohesion until the eventual widespread crop failure caused by the drought, coupled with nomadic assaults, became intolerable. Despite recovering from past droughts, the last push pushed them to the edge. At that time, the critical mass of the inhabitants eventually threw towels and determined that their community was no longer worth saving.

Researchers from Washington State University And Wageningen University In the Netherlands, after overcoming such difficulties in the past, these ancient people worked together to identify the exact cause of their abandonment of their homes.They announced their findings in a new one Research Journal Monday PNAS..

“For me, there are two important points to this study,” said Tim Kohler, an archaeologist and author of the study at Washington State University, in an email. “First, what we archaeologists consider to be the climate crisis of past societies may be problems that are probably partly caused by internal social problems. Second, but it is PIII. Seems to be the end of [Pueblo III community] In the northern southwest (late 1200s), the influx of nomadic hunter-gatherers who found the Pueblo people to be easily prey may be boosted, but in reality a significant climate change factor is There is. “

In the past, many researchers believed that the drought itself was the secret to the death of the Pueblo people. However, new evidence from the analysis of building materials shows that these societies have endured many years of drought, and it is social tension that residents simply prefer to move forward. Only when it reached an intolerable level.

The authors have collected time-series data on building activity, showing that the construction of these communities is slowly declining over time and the vulnerability of social cohesion is increasing. They show that the stability of the status quo will eventually decline and that violence and wealth inequality among inhabitants will increase. Researchers believe that it was the cumulative effects of these growing tensions that ruined Pueblo society, and that the massive drought, coupled with the raids, was just the last blow.

By analyzing the dated wooden beams of the tree rings recovered from the construction site, the team was able to group construction activities into four different periods separated by minimal activity intervals. Previous studies have found that high activity periods are concentrated in good corn growth periods, but after analyzing the new dataset, the authors found that these periods are no better than down-years for corn growth. I believed that something else was working.

“The fundamental transition can be caused by the collapse of trust in old practices, including rituals and social and physical structures. Such distrust can be self-propagating and transmitted to society as a whole. There is, “the authors say in a study. “One of the obvious stabilizing powers is the vested interests of the elite who profit from the status quo and use her capital to maintain it. The second stabilizer is the so-called” sunk cost effect. ” is. This is reluctant to abandon what many have invested in, even if it should be reasonably abandoned. “

The turning point for the last Pueblo society, Pueblo III, came around 1200, when Pueblo farmers eventually fled the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States and moved south. The authors believe that the combination of drought and confrontation with external groups has finally prompted them to abandon society altogether.

Kohler explained that the ancestors of the Pueblo people had already begun to leave the region in the early 1200s when the climate became unfavorable for corn. Most of the corn moved south around 1220. He has a long-term cold climate that is unbearable for an already weakened society due to a volcanic eruption in the Java region.

“Many Pueblo people were trying to evacuate to the heads of large walled canyons and cliff dwellings around that time,” Kohler said in an email. “At about the same time, I think the Navajo and Apache ancestors began raiding Pueblo. They were just starting to come from the north. When the climate deteriorated severely in the mid-1270s, the rest of the corn farmers did it. He said he stopped and asked for evacuation. “

Internal strife contributed to the collapse of ancient Pueblo societies ~ Missoula Current Source link Internal strife contributed to the collapse of ancient Pueblo societies ~ Missoula Current

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