Understanding the Agricultural Consequences of Aggregation
By Suzanne K. Fish and Paul R. Fish
Suzanne Fish, an archaeologist, ethnobotanist, and palynologist, and Paul Fish, an archaeologist, consider in Chapter 10 social anthropological questions regarding how Hohokam and related southwestern societies met the agricultural and social challenges arising from coalescing populations during aggregation. Their discussion combines archaeological evidence and ethnographic practices. They question how the societies of post–A.D. 1200 in the southern Southwest (1) provided heterogeneous coresidents with access to arable land and water, (2) boosted production to support enlarged populations by deploying correspondingly expanded labor pools, and (3) formulated new social roles and mechanisms for mediation among conjoined farmers to meet the changing demands and opportunities of agricultural production. The questions are new, and success in answering them would vastly improve our knowledge. The issues have implications for farmers worldwide as they continue to experience rapid demographic change, aggregation, and reorganization.