Karen Gust Schollmeyer at Nov. 14 Arizona Archaeological Society meeting in Queen Creek

Karen Gust Schollmeyer

The San Tan Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society will host speaker Karen Gust Schollmeyer, with Archaeology Southwest, at a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The theme of her talk is archaeology and hunting in southwest New Mexico.

San Tan Chapter meetings are held at the San Tan Historical Society Museum, 20425 S. Old Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek, at the corners of Queen Creek and Ellsworth Loop Roads. Parking is behind the museum; go east on Queen Creek Road and make a sharp right into the rear parking lot.

Dinner with the speaker is at 5:30 p.m. prior to the meeting. For more information, contact Marie Britton at 480-390-3491 or mbrit@cox.net.

Understanding how people maintain long-term access to animals for food and other uses is important to archaeology and may also have implications for contemporary societies’ access to animal resources, according to a release.

Ms. Schollmeyer examined animal-bone data from more than 70 archaeological assemblages in the Mimbres area over the centuries from AD 200 to 1450.

Although many important animal species were negatively impacted by the altered environments associated with increasing human populations and less frequent movement over time, some species were quite resilient and many were able to recover during periods of lower human population, according to the release.

Ancient farming strategies in the Southwest helped this recovery in some ways, as do aspects of traditional farming in areas where wild game remains an important food source today, according to the release.

Ms. Schollmeyer grew up in Phoenix and received an undergraduate degree at Stanford University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University.

“She has worked on archaeological projects in the Peruvian highlands, the Ethiopian desert and throughout the American Southwest. Karen’s research interests include zooarchaeology, long-term human-environment interactions, and food security and landscape use,” Marie Britton, president of the San Tan Chapter of AAS, said in the release.

“She is also interested in how archaeologists’ long-term insights can be applied to contemporary issues in conservation and development. She has done research and fieldwork – including teaching multiple field schools – in southwest New Mexico for 15 years and is especially interested in the ‘edges’ of the Mimbres-Mogollon area along the Rio Grande and the Upper Gila,” Ms. Britton said.

Other current projects include work on prehistoric hunting sustainability in the Four Corners area with archaeological chemist Jeff Ferguson at MURR (NSF BCS-1460385) and research on long-term changes in plants and animals in the Mimbres area with paleoethnobotanist Mike Diehl at Desert Archaeology Inc., according to the release.

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