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The PAZC's archaeological survey registered a significant reduction in the number of sites and total settled area in the lower Zaña valley following 1570 CE.

Analysis of satellite imagery demonstrates that in the 16th century, indigenous settlements in the valley were located in marginal agricultural areas, in comparison to major Spanish settlements.

The location of indigenous settlements in the lowest portions of the valley also presented challenges for access to fresh water for drinking and irrigation. In the long term, environmental marginality and labor stress inflicted chronic trauma on native bodies

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