Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Heather B. Trigg

Second Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman

Third Advisor

Virginia S. Popper


How did Spanish colonialism alter the landscape of north-central New Mexico? Agropastoral practices imported by Spanish colonists made indelible impacts on an anthropogenic landscape already shaped by hundreds of years of Pueblo agriculture. However, the precise nature of these changes is poorly understood. This project uses two sets of archaeological pollen data from LA 20,000, a Spanish rancho in New Mexico, to demonstrate how 17th century agriculture and animal husbandry made geographically specific, multifaceted changes to the environment. First, patterns analyzed from a pollen column illuminates fluctuations in plant communities over time, indicating localized ecological shifts. Second, sediments collected from 17th century deposits across the site characterize the nature of agriculture and animal husbandry at LA 20,000.