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The Chaco Anasazi : Sociopolitical Evolution in the Prehistoric Southwest - Lynne Sebastian

The Chaco Anasazi

Sociopolitical Evolution in the Prehistoric Southwest

Paperback

Published: 28th October 1996
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In the tenth century AD, a remarkable cultural development took place in the harsh and forbidding San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. From small-scale, simply organized, prehistoric Pueblo societies, a complex and socially differentiated political system emerged that has become known as the Chaco Phenomenon. This study combines information on political evolution with archaeological data to produce a sociopolitically based model of the rise, florescence, and decline of the Chaco Phenomenon.

"By succinctly summarizing much background information and citing major sources for additional data, she has managed to concentrate on an alternative to existing explanations for the growth and nature of the Chacoan cultural system and on analyzing the political processes of small-scale sedentary societies...a major contribution to developing explanatory models." American Antiquity "In an easy-to-read and enjoyable book, especially the last two chapters, Sebastian has created a nontypological starting point for new, wide-ranging cultural-ecological-social-political debates about the nature and process of the Chacoan phenomenon...Geographers who work with prehistoric data will find this book to be, at least, thought provoking and, at best, a paradigm-revising addendum to their worldview of the prehistoric Southwest." The Geographical Review

List of illustrationsp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiv
Introductionp. 1
Social organization studies in archaeologyp. 2
Definitionsp. 7
Preview of coming attractionsp. 8
The Chaco Phenomenon: background and history of researchp. 9
Environment and paleoenvironmentp. 9
Discovery and explorationp. 13
Previous researchp. 14
The Chacoan archaeological recordp. 21
Arguments and explanationsp. 40
Sociopolitical complexity and the Chaco systemp. 42
Settlement pattern and site hierarchyp. 43
Distribution of material culture itemsp. 45
Architectural and construction datap. 48
Burial datap. 48
Demographyp. 51
Craft specializationp. 54
Construction and administration of water-control facilitiesp. 56
Conclusionsp. 56
Routes to sociopolitical powerp. 59
Typological and nontypological approachesp. 59
Power relationshipsp. 62
Why does sociopolitical complexity increase?p. 63
How does sociopolitical complexity increase?p. 70
Conclusionsp. 80
Previous explanations for the Chaco phenomenonp. 82
The 1970sp. 82
The late 1970s and early 1980sp. 84
Redistribution and sociopolitical complexityp. 85
Cultural complexity as a buffering mechanismp. 91
Relations of power, labor investment, and the political evolution of the Chaco systemp. 98
Setting the stagep. 99
The hypothesisp. 104
Available capital and major constructionp. 106
Political process and the Chaco Phenomenonp. 114
Summary and new directionsp. 142
The computer simulationp. 153
Referencesp. 166
Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521574686
ISBN-10: 0521574684
Series: New Studies in Archaeology
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 196
Published: 28th October 1996
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.4  x 1.1
Weight (kg): 0.35