maize farming, Fremont frontier, cultural identities


he spread of maize farming across the American Southwest reached its northernmost extent west of the Rockies by the first or second centuries ad (James Allison, personal communication, 2014; Allison 2014), in the area encompassing the Colorado Plateau north of the Colorado River and the eastern portion of the Great Basin. he practitioners of farming in this area, the Fremont, generally resemble other Southwest farmers in material culture, social structure, settlement, and land use. hey are markedly different from contemporaneous hunter- gatherers to the west, north, and east in these same characteristics and in general economic strategy. Changing paradigms have variously placed the Fremont as horticulturalists who were part of but culturally peripheral to the Southwest; independent farmers in a broad sea of Great Basin hunter- gatherers; or a complex of behaviors inclusive of all farmers and foragers in the northern Colorado Plateau and eastern Great Basin.

Original Publication Citation

Searcy, Michael T., and Richard Talbot 2016 Late Fremont Cultural Identities and Borderland Processes. In Late Holocene Research on Foragers and Early Farmers in the Desert West, edited by Barbara Roth and Maxine McBrinn, pp. 234-264. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



University of Utah Press




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor