Chaco Canyon has one of the most significant concentrations of archaeological remains in North America. Pueblo Bonito, the largest and best known of Chaco’s great houses, was largely excavated in the late 1890s and early 1920s, but then no extensive excavations were conducted at the site until a team of archaeologists from the University of New Mexico began work there in 2004. In exploring the possible evidence of water-control features, archaeologists recovered some 200,000 artifacts. Here they use the artifacts and fauna they found to examine the lives and activities of the inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito as well as to further interpret current models of Chaco archaeology. The contributors particularly focus on questions regarding crafts production, long-distance exchange relationships, and evidence for feasting and other ritual behavior. The results from the 2004–2008 excavations challenge many interpretations related to the daily activities of the Pueblo Bonito population while supporting others.
Bringing together both up-and-coming and well-known scholars of Chaco Canyon, Chaco Revisited provides readers with refreshing and updated analyses of research collected over the course of a century. Addressing age-old questions surrounding the canyon using new methods, contributors prove that Chaco Canyon was even more complex and fascinating than previously understood.
Taking a bioarchaeological approach, this book examines the Ancestral Pueblo culture living in the Four Corners region of the United States during the late Pueblo I through the end of the Pueblo III period (AD 850-1300). During this time, a vast system of pueblo villages spread throughout the region creating what has been called the Chaco Phenomenon, named after the large great houses in Chaco Canyon that are thought to have been centers of control. Through a bioarchaeological analysis of the human skeletal remains, this volume provides evidence that key individuals within the hierarchical social structure used a variety of methods of social control, including structural violence, to maintain their power over the interconnected communities.