Message #319:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Cattle Trampling of Archeological Sites
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 96 16:54:00 MST
Encoding: 53 TEXT

[If you have information on this issue, please contact Ms. Putman directly. 
 Please cc SWA -- SASIG Ed. ]

From:  Kathleen Putman 

Kevin Jones in Utah suggested I make contact with you.   I am very 
interested in obtaining any information on the damage done by cattle 
trampling to archeological sites, particularly any written references of 
documentation.  Any leads would be greatly appreciated. We have many more 
archeological sites here in Alaska than we have cattle, so I cannot find any 
local references.

Probably you want to look at the general and specific literature on 
formation processes on archaeological sites.  Perhaps agency archaeologists 
from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Biological Service (Soil 
Conservation Service), Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service 
can chime in with data they may have.

Here in the Southwest, the copper mining industry is now putting cows up on 
steep-sloped tailings piles; put water at one end of a long enclosure and 
feed at the other end -- make the cows walk back and forth, and allow them 
to trample their dung into the tailings spoils.  This continuous trampling 
reintroduces microbial activity to the dead soil; the slopes look like they 
have been micro-terraced after the cows create numerous hoof trails across 
these slopes.  (Hmmm....makes me wonder if cows introduce unwanted microbial 
action to heavily trampled archaeological sites......and how does this 
affect biological and chronometric samples)

You could try these related sites:
Rangeland Change in the Arid and Semi-Arid United States: The Need for 
Affordable Remote Monitoring

Possibly Related Sites on Trampling:
The Minimum-Impact Approach For Enjoying Archaeological Sites
Functional Analysis of Flake Tools from Chiripa, Bolivia
infiltration of rainwater as well as the trampling upon by visitors
Response of five native plant communities to trampling in the Wind River 
Range, Wyoming, USA
[site trampling not related to cows but WalMart !!  :-)  ]