Great House Communities Across the Chacoan Landscape

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John Kantner, Nancy M. Mahoney
University of Arizona Press, 2000 - History - 192 pages
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Beginning in the tenth century, Chaco Canyon emerged as an important center whose influence shaped subsequent cultural developments throughout the Four Corners area of the American Southwest. Archaeologists investigating the prehistory of Chaco Canyon have long been impressed by its massive architecture, evidence of widespread trading activities, and ancient roadways that extended across the region. Research on Chaco Canyon today is focused on what the remains indicate about the social, political, and ideological organization of the Chacoan people. Communities with great houses located some distance away are of particular interest, because determining how and why peripheral areas became associated with the central canyon provides insight into the evolution of the Chacoan tradition. This volume brings together twelve chapters by archaeologists who suggest that the relationship between Chaco Canyon and outlying communities was not only complex but highly variable. Their new research reveals that the most distant groups may have simply appropriated Chacoan symbolism for influencing local social and political relationships, whereas many of the nearest communities appear to have interacted closely with the central canyon--perhaps even living there on a seasonal basis. The multifaceted approach taken by these authors provides different and refreshing perspectives on Chaco. Their contributions offer new insight into what a Chacoan community is and shed light on the nature of interactions among prehistoric communities.
 

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Contents

DEFINING THE CHACOAN
17
GUI
25
community in northwest New Mexico
31
5
32
SEDENTISM
39
FIGURES
49
6
55
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
61
Characteristics of population estimates
115
INTERACTION AMONG GREAT HOUSE
130
Juan Basin northwestern New Mexico
133
34
136
Population estimates for the Lowry
142
GREAT HOUSE COMMUNITIES
147
50
168
191
169

Edge of the Cedars pueblo
66
the great kiva depression
72
CHACOAN AND LOCAL INFLUENCES
79
1
80
Valley great house community locations
92
Andrews community
98
ECONOMIC AND SOCIOPOLITICAL
111
107
177
134
179
51
181
114
183
52
187
61
194
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About the author (2000)

John Kantner is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has spent the past 12 years in southwestern archaeology, seven of them on Chaco research. Nancy M. Mahoney is currently the Robert H. Lister Fellow in Anthropology at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.