A Horse-Travel Approach to Landscape Archaeology

Horse Trail Map

Publication: Historical Archaeology, Vol. 49, No. 2

Author: Jun Ueneo Sunseri

Date of Publication: June 2015

PDF File: Sunseri-2015-A-Horse-Travel-Approach-to-Landscape-Archaeology.pdf

URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/BF03377140


Archaeological studies of movement between communities that had horses should use empirical evidence about horse travel over terrain types analogous to those traversed between historical archaeological sites. The experiences of equestrians are of interest to archaeologists because they reflect past processes of creating landscapes of warfare, communication, transportation, and trade. Late Spanish colonial New Mexico provides an example of how the potential of an equine perspective on landscape-scale choices might change archaeological interpretations of place and space. This article introduces an experimental approach and calls for modeling that accounts for different kinds of observed horse travel that can better articulate archaeological landscape studies with more realistic travel factors encountered by those who populated a dynamic and horse-connected frontier. Datasets generated by such a method will be well-positioned to aid in the interpretation of lived experiences on indigenous landscapes completely transformed by the colonial introduction of the horse.