The 1870s was a time of great change in the human culture and landscape of southeastern Colorado. Spanish-speaking people from New Mexico were moving north into this area, Anglo-Americans from the east were arriving, and several Native American groups continued to inhabit the area on a migratory basis. While the usual scenario set up by traditional historians and anthropologists is one that emphasizes the assimilation of New Mexicans into the Anglo mainstream, or into dependence upon it, and the relegation of Native groups to reservations and cultural stagnation, there is much archaeological and documentary evidence that this picture is too simple. There has been less attention in the literature to the choices all groups made in the process of mutual accommodation or resistance, or to the fact that in large regions of the West, at least initially, Anglo-Americans were in fact in the minority. The middle and late nineteenth century witnessed intensive trade and interaction between these internally varied groups, accompanied by social interaction, and concomitant changes in subsistence strategies and their affects on the landscape. Thus the material signatures of this interaction and the active choices people made in the course of it remain in material patterning on archaeological sites of this homesteading era, and in the patterns of human alteration of the landscapes in which they are situated.
Supervisor: Robert L. Schuyler. Thesis (Ph.D. in American Civilization) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2001. Includes bibliographical references and index.