Human Vulnerability to Dry Periods
By Scott E. Ingram
Scott Ingram is an archaeologist, and in Chapter 4 he is concerned with human vulnerability to drought, a perennial interest in the Southwest. Agriculture is a critical link between climate and human behavior in arid lands. The purpose of his chapter is to direct archaeological attention to the domain of human vulnerability research as a new approach for investigating long-term climate–human behavior relationships in arid lands. He uses the “uneven” relationship between droughts (referred to as dry periods) and large-scale human population movements as an example of a problem that can be addressed with a vulnerability approach. The analytical objective is to identify conditions (e.g., demographic and environmental) that over the long term and in many places influence vulnerability to dry periods. Identifying these conditions can better explain climate–human behavior relationships, now and in the past, and contribute insights for modern drought planning, mitigation, and adaptation.