Current Research Projects

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Mogollon Prehistoric Landscapes Project

This research project is focused on understanding social connections and land use in the 13th and 14th century Mogollon area. During this period, a number of large villages were established in the eastern Mimbres area that appear to share broadly similar topographic locations along low-elevation perennial streams, but show great diversity in their construction techniques, architectural layout, and dominant ceramic styles. Research at this phase of the project has several goals: to refine estimates of the occupation dates of known late period sites and assess the degree to which these diverse sites were contemporaneous; to examine the patterns in which different ceramic and architectural forms co-occur within settlements; to understand the degree to which these forms indicate direct linkages with populations in distant areas versus local manifestations of these traditions; and to assess whether the apparent similarities in late village locations indicate similar agricultural, hunting, and other economic strategies.

This project is associated with the Arizona State University Prehistoric Archaeology in Southwest New Mexico Field School. I will be focusing on analysis and write-up in 2013, but hope to return to teaching field school soon!

Schollmeyer, Karen Gust, Steve Swanson, and Margaret C. Nelson
2008 "Roadmap Village (LA41517): Report on the 2007-08 Excavation Seasons." Report to the Las Palomas Land and Cattle Company and manuscript on file, Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

Read a PDF


Long Term Vulnerability and Transformation Project

I am a postdoctoral researcher on this project, focused on sustainability and resilience across periods of social-ecological transformation in the prehistoric Greater Southwest. We examine how changes in such features as ceramic connections to nearby settlements vs. distant areas, access to productive field areas, and use of various types of wild and plant resources vary over episodes of dramatic, archaeologically visible culture change. We are also interested in patterns that seem to accompany long-term stability. My work on this project is focused on how changes in human hunting and settlement practices affected long-term access to hunting areas and animal resources in different archaeological culture areas, although I also contribute to other project foci on agricultural resources, mathematical modeling, and social diversity.

See our website here.

  Contemporary Bushmeat and the Sustainability of Hunting in the Prehistoric U.S. Southwest
Jonathan Driver

I recently completed a postdoctoral research position with Jonathan Driver at Simon Fraser University, researching hunting sustainability and the resilience of small and large game species. We used information from modern conservation biology studies of traditional hunting practices to improve our understanding of the effects of prehistoric hunting on mammals. In several cases, including the prehistoric U.S. Southwest, the relative importance of small game increased substantially with increased human sedentism and population density. This shift is related to the resilience of different game species to human hunting and to anthropogenic landscape change. Mammal resilience is influenced by a number of variables, both attributes of the hunted animals (such as reproductive rates, habitat requirements, and local population dynamics) and anthropogenic factors (including human settlement patterns, population, and various aspects of landscape use).

We are currently wrapping up publication of various aspects of this work. Publications include:

Schollmeyer, Karen Gust and Jonathan C. Driver
In press. Settlement Patterns, Source-Sink Dynamics, and Artiodactyl Hunting in the Prehistoric U.S. Southwest. Special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, edited by V.L. Butler, C.M. Darwent, and M.J. O’Brien. Published Online First October 25, 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10816-012-9160-5; expected print publication 2013.

Schollmeyer, Karen Gust and Jonathan C. Driver
2012 The Past, Present, and Future of Small Terrestrial Mammals in Human Diets. In Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology, edited by Steve Wolverton and R. Lee Lyman. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Schollmeyer, Karen Gust, and Jonathan C. Driver
2010 “Effect of Settlement Patterns and Human Hunting on Cervid Availabilty in the North American Southwest.” Poster presented at the 2010 meeting of the International Council for Archaeozoology, Paris, France, August 23-28.
See a PDF of the original poster (large file) or the referenced, slightly extended version.