Reviews of The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico
Adams, E. Charles
1982 Review of The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, by N. Edmund Kelley. American Antiquity 1982: 911-914.
While ecology is often treated as an afterthought, this volume is excellent because, instead, it places archaeology in the context of the local environment and seeks to determine local ecology’s relation to prehistoric subsistence. Topics of discussion include the general environment, climate, water, agriculture, and architectural and tool materials. The ecological study included a 25 square mile local area with Arroyo Hondo at its center. A less detailed analysis includes a larger area from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east to the Rio Grande to the west for additional economic resources. Kelley’s treatment of local climate and climate dynamics for the Southwest are also impressive.
Appendices list the plants in different vegetation communities around Arroyo Hondo as well as vertebrate fauna spotted nearby. One omission is a list or discussion of plants that were used, both as food and medicinally, in prehistoric and historic times. Another critique is the use of English units rather than metric units as is typical in prehistoric archaeology.
In sum, though, this is a successful synthesis worthy of emulation by other archaeology projects.
Archaeological Publications: New Archaeological Books and Journals
1982 Journal of Field Archaeology 9(2): 269-270.
1981 World Archaeology 13(2): 269.
Fitzgerald, Gerald X.
1981 Review of Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, by N. Edmund Kelley. The Artifact 19: 73-75.
This volume is an excellent example of a well thought out research design and is one of the most comprehensive archaeological ecological studies the reviewer has seen. Topics covered include landforms, water resources, soil, and raw material sources both close to and beyond the pueblo’s immediate area. An evaluation of over-exploitation both today and in prehistoric times and how ecological factors like climate likely affected settlement patterns and population are prescient and well researched.
Readable tables detail local plant life (their ecozones of origin, whether they are edible, their uses, and whether they are native and present-day fauna, their locations and approximate numbers).
In sum, this study could serve as an example for ecological studies for other archaeology projects.
Hill, James N.
1981 Review of Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, by N. Edmund Kelley. American Anthropologist 83: 927-929.
Part of an essential series of monographs on Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and Southwestern archaeology in general, Kelley’s volume provides essential information but is analytically uninteresting. The author describes the present-day biophysical environment, covering factors such as climate, hydrology, and vegetation and where past populations obtained seasonal resources. This is an excellent study, but it could have gone further in terms of predictions such as the costs of procurement and the numbers of resources that ought to have been exploited.
1980 Southwestern Bookshelf. New Mexico Magazine June 1980: 64.
The author presents a painstaking study of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo and its neighboring areas using historic and modern meteorological and other records.
1981 Review of The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, by N. Edmund Kelley. The Masterkey 55: 37-38.
This first volume on the major site of Arroyo Hondo south of Santa Fe describes modern-day environmental resources near the pueblo.
1980 Archaeology 33(5): 71.
Reis, J. R.
1981 Review of The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, by N. Edmund Kelley. Books of the Southwest June 1981: 8.
First in a proposed series of 10 volumes, this monograph describes the current ecology and environment of Arroyo Hondo Pueblo to help provide an understanding of the site’s past environmental and local resources.