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Dicke, Robert J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XLIV (1955)

McCabe, Robert A.
The prehistoric engineer-farmers of Chihuahua,   pp. 75-90 PDF (6.1 MB)


Page 86

 86 Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters [Vol. 44 
 Agriculture in many parts of Mexico is still very primitive. Before the
advent of the horse, which the Spaniards introduced, we can only surmise
that the land was tilled by hand with crude wooden implements. Were the campesinos
(farmers) many or few in the region of the abundant trincheras? The comparatively
The check-dams or trincheras found in many places in northern Chihuahua were
well built structures. The meadows behind these dams were usually grown to
several species of bunch grass. (Photo by Aldo Leopold) 
meager evidence of permanent dwellings and the likelihood that the fertility
in the thin volcanic soil would be dissipated after a few years of corn and
bean agriculture indicate the farmers may have been few in number or partially
nomadic in nature. 
 A simple fallow rotation of many small fields, up and down a watershed could
have insured better fertility and account for the 


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