Midden researchers are chiefly concerned with vegetation dynamics, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology. But midden research also helps to shed new light on the archaeology of the Southwest.
Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon is one of the architectural wonders of pre-Columbian America. Constructed in 919 A.D. (the site has been dated using tree ring chronologies), Pueblo Bonito was built by an Indian people known to
archaeologists as the Anasazi, a Navajo (Diné) word for ancient ones. The Anasazi of the Southwest developed a balanced subsistence economy based on maize, squash, and beans, supplemented by hunting game and gathering. In the Chaco Canyon area, where
a large population of Anasazi made their homes between ~800 and ~1200 A.D., wood was in high demand both as a fuel and constructional timber. It is estimated that 200,000 ponderosa pine logs were used to construct the 13 multi-storied buildings in the
Pueblo Bonita complex, while large quantities of piņon pine were used as fuelwood.
U.S. National Park Service
Click on above image to enlarge.
Download a zip file
of a full resolution TIF image