archaeology writing essay 1

This is an archaeology lab work.

Supportive reading:

The detailed writing instruction is post in the attached file. Need 1. 5 pages, total word count at least 500.

Here is the brief writing instruction:

Lab 5 (Week 6)

Palynology can identify specific plants as well as broad environmental trends. Pollen rain may be preserved for thousands of years in the right environment, but archaeological sites don’t always provide this. Thus, pollen sampling sites are often bogs and lake bottoms that can provide regional environmental evidence. On the other hand, most sites preserve some pollen and this can be used in the ways described below.

The following is a simplified representation of a pollen profile based on a continuous sequence of soil samples spanning approximately 2200-4000 BP years at a site in southwestern New Mexico. First review the discussions of palynology and environmental reconstruction in your text and other reading, including the Stephen Hall paper below. Next study the pollen diagram reproduced below.

To accomplish the analysis, investigate on your own the archaeological evidence for early cultivated (domesticated) plants in the US Southwest (As noted, the pollen sequence is from New Mexico, and so you should look at early societies called Archaic or pre-Pueblo at Chaco Canyon, one of New Mexico’s most famous archaeological localities.

The paper by Stephen Hall ( (Links to an external site.)), which you can access, provides considerable detail of the pollen record for that area and specifics about a cornfield dated to between 3940 and 2450 BP. It is a good illustration of the use of pollen evidence in archaeology and it also describes the corn itself that was in use during the time periods noted in your pollen table. This paper is somewhat technical, but it provides a number of illustrations and details for understanding the significance of the corn (Zea mays) pollen in the table. Note that the well-known agricultural societies of the Pueblo period post-date this sequence and evidence documents that corn and other cultivated plants were being used in the US Southwest at an early date. Archaeologists and palynologists have learned that the development of plant cultivation as a food source had a major impact on vegetation.

Time spans for the sequence are represented by a letter:

0-3600 years BP
A. 4000-3600 years BP
B. 3600-3400 years BP
C. 3400-2900 years BP
D. 2900-2200 years BP

Your task is to describe (A) the changes in the plant environment and (B) the possible corresponding human actions occurring in each time interval listed above (A-D):


  1. A) describe how the vegetation changed in the area of Chaco Canyon during the 4 time periods represented by the A-D sequence and the time range of 4000 to 2200 years BP. As well, identify the expected human activities that would have resulted in these changes. Can you tell which appeared first in the area, corn or beans?
  2. B) Can you estimate what the percentages were of the 5 vegetation types, based on the pollen counts, at the four time periods (remember the total should be 100%)?

You may also look up additional information about early cultivation using reputable sources (e.g., library resources; university, museum, or government agency websites [like NPS, USGS, etc.], and journal articles; etc.).

Write 1½-2 double-spaced pages (12 font, no more than 1 line header with name, not including references).