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A multi-factor analysis of the emergence of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam

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This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the

This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the products of a few concentrated pottery producers developed in the absence of political centralization or hierarchical social arrangements. The factors that promoted intensified pottery production, therefore, are the keys to addressing how economic systems can expand in small-scale and middle-range societies. This dissertation constructs a multi-factor model that explores changes to the organization of decorated pottery production during a substantial portion of the pre-Classic period (AD 700 - AD 1020). The analysis is designed to examine simultaneously several variables that may have encouraged demand for ceramic vessels made by specialists. This study evaluates the role of four factors in the development of supply and demand for specialist produced red-on-buff pottery in Hohokam settlements. The factors include 1) agricultural intensification in the form of irrigation agriculture, 2) increases in population density, 3) ritual or social obligations that require the production of particular craft items, and 4) reduced transport costs. Supply and demand for specialist-produced pottery is estimated through a sourcing analysis of non-local pottery at 13 Phoenix Basin settlements. Through a series of statistical analyses, the study measures changes in the influence of each factor on demand for specialist-produced pottery through four temporal phases of the Hohokam pre-Classic period. The analysis results indicate that specialized red-on-buff production was initially spurred by demand for light-colored, shiny, decorated pottery, but then by comparative advantages to specialized production in particular areas of the Phoenix Basin. Specialists concentrated on the Snaketown canal system were able to generate light-colored, mica-dense wares that Phoenix Basin consumers desired while lowering transport costs in the distribution of red-on-buff pottery. The circulation of decorated wares was accompanied by the production of plainware pottery in other areas of the Phoenix Basin. Economic growth in the region was based on complementary and coordinated economic activities between the Salt and the Gila River valleys.

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  • 2013

Life Cycle Assessment of Ecosystem Services for Phoenix’s Building Stock

Description

Better methods are necessary to fully account for anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems and the essential services provided by ecosystems that sustain human life. Current methods for assessing sustainability, such as

Better methods are necessary to fully account for anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems and the essential services provided by ecosystems that sustain human life. Current methods for assessing sustainability, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), typically focus on easily quantifiable indicators such as air emissions with no accounting for the essential ecosystem benefits that support human or industrial processes. For this reason, more comprehensive, transparent, and robust methods are necessary for holistic understanding of urban technosphere and ecosphere systems, including their interfaces. Incorporating ecosystem service indicators into LCA is an important step in spanning this knowledge gap.

For urban systems, many built environment processes have been investigated but need to be expanded with life cycle assessment for understanding ecosphere impacts. To pilot these new methods, a material inventory of the building infrastructure of Phoenix, Arizona can be coupled with LCA to gain perspective on the impacts assessment for built structures in Phoenix. This inventory will identify the origins of materials stocks, and the solid and air emissions waste associated with their raw material extraction, processing, and construction and identify key areas of future research necessary to fully account for ecosystem services in urban sustainability assessments. Based on this preliminary study, the ecosystem service impacts of metropolitan Phoenix stretch far beyond the county boundaries. A life cycle accounting of the Phoenix’s embedded building materials will inform policy and decision makers, assist with community education, and inform the urban sustainability community of consequences.

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