While many of the chapters in this volume provide innovative linking mechanisms in order to move beyond correlation towards statements of causation, this chapter uses local-scale and medium-term investigations to challenge a commonly posited causal relationship. We use paleobotanical and archaeological data to demonstrate that the physical constraints posed by desert environments on the North Coast of Perú were not a cause of sociopolitical division. Doing so requires adjusting the analytical scale to supplement seminal work on El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and other event-like climatic perturbations and studies of longer-term environmental change. Therefore, we propose a methodology that allows us to establish direct links between human modifications to the landscape and “mediumterm” environmental change. By examining microfossil botanical remains from the surrounding landscape, we argue that the Pampa de Mocán, rather than being a desert barrier, was an agricultural landscape occupied over hundreds of years.