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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Beginning 4,000 or more years ago in the U.S. Southwest and Mexican Northwest, the most varied and sustained interactions between regional inhabitants and the plants of their environments took place within the context of agricultural economies. Even though a recurrent paradigm portrays the Southwest/Northwest as harsh and agriculturally marginal, the region is rich in the archaeological legacy of Indigenous cultivators who produced harvests over three and a half millennia. In recent decades, a finer focus on analytical details, as well as broader comparative approaches to the archaeological record of plants, has expanded the roster of regional crops and culturally enhanced resources, illuminated the nature and scope of culturally modified environments, and explored the roles of plants in a range of economic and social transactions.

Keywords: Southwest, agriculture, agricultural economy, archaeology, Indigenous, crops

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