This book brings together the work of archaeologists investigating prehistoric hunter-gatherers (foragers) and early farmers in both the Southwest and the Great Basin. Most previous work on this topic has been regionally specific, with researchers from each area favoring a different theoretical approach and little shared dialogue. Here the studies of archaeologists working in both the Southwest and the Great Basin are presented side by side to illustrate the similarities in environmental challenges and cultural practices of the prehistoric peoples who lived in these areas and to explore common research questions addressed by both regions. Three main themes link these papers: the role of the environment in shaping prehistoric behavior, flexibility in foraging and farming adaptations, and diversity in settlement strategies. Contributors cover a range of topics including the varied ways hunter-gatherers adapted to arid environments, the transition from hunting and gathering to farming and the reasons for it, the variation in early farmers across the Southwest and Great Basin, and the differing paths followed as they developed settled villages.