Chaco’s Northern Prodigies
Salmon, Aztec, and the Ascendancy of the Middle San Juan Region after AD 1100
Edited by Paul F. Reed
Anthropology / Archaeology
In the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, the ancient pueblo sites of Aztec and Salmon in the Middle San Juan region rapidly emerged as population and political centers during the closing stages of Chaco’s ascendancy. Some archaeologists have attributed the development of these centers to migration and colonization by people from Chaco Canyon. Others have suggested that the so-called Chacoan "system" was largely the result of emulation of Chacoan characteristics by local groups in outlying areas. Research over the last five years in the Middle San Juan suggests that both of these processes were operating.
Work by two groups of contributors resulted in this synthetic volume, which interprets thirty-five years of research at Salmon Ruins. Chaco’s Northern Prodigies also puts recent work at Salmon Ruins in the context of Middle San Juan archaeological research. It is a timely synopsis of the archaeology of this region of the Southwest.
Paul F. Reed is a Preservation Archaeologist with the Tucson, Arizona based Archaeology Southwest and works as a Chaco Scholar at Salmon Ruins, New Mexico. Reed has been employed in this position for 15 years.
Karen R. Adams, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Nancy J. Akins, Museum of New Mexico; Eileen Bacha, National Park Service volunteer; Larry L. Baker, Salmon Ruins Museum; Gary Brown, Aztec Ruins National Monument; Catherine Cameron, University of Colorado, Boulder; Kathy Roler Durand, Eastern New Mexico University; Stephen R. Durand, Eastern New Mexico University; Cynthia Irwin-Williams, deceased; Kristin Kuckelman, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Peter McKenna, Bureau of Indian Affairs; Scott Ortman, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Lori Stephens Reed, Animas Ceramic Consulting; Karl J. Reinhard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Susan Ryan, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; H. Wolcott Toll, Museum of New Mexico; Ruth Van Dyke, Colorado College; Mark Varien, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; R. Gwinn Vivian, Arizona State Museum; Dorothy Washburn, independent researcher; Laurie D. Webster, independent researcher; Linda Wheelbarger, San Juan College; Thomas Windes, National Park Service
Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
Part 1: Introduction
1. Setting the Stage: A Reconsideration of Salmon, Aztec, and the Middle San Juan Region in Chacoan and Post-Chacoan Puebloan History
Part 2: Salmon Pueblo
2. Salmon Ruins: Architecture and Development of a Chacoan Satellite on the San Juan River
3. Salmon Pueblo as a Ritual and Residential Chacoan Great House
Part 3: Material Culture Analyses: Salmon Pueblo
4. Subsistence and Plant Use During the Chacoan and Secondary Occupations at Salmon Ruins
5. Parasite Pathoecology of Salmon Pueblo and Other Chacoan Great Houses: The Healthiest and Wormiest Ancestral Puebloans
6. Animal Bone from Salmon Ruins and Other Great Houses: Faunal Exploitation in the Chaco World
7. Sighting Along the Grain: Differential Structural Wood Use at the Salmon Ruin
8. Human Remains Recovered from the Tower Kiva Salmon Ruins
Part 4: Material Culture Analyses: Across the Middle San Juan
9. An Initial Assessment of Perishable Relationships Among Salmon, Aztec, and Chaco Canyon
10. Ceramics of the Middle San Juan Region: Potters, Recipes, and Varieties
Part 5: New Research in the Middle San Juan Region
11. Puebloan Communities on the South Side of the Middle San Juan River
12. Animas Anamnesis: Aztec Ruins or Anasazi Capital?
13. Comparing Great House Architecture: Perspectives from the Bluff Great House
Part 6: Synthetic Views of the Middle San Juan Region
14. Chacoan Society: The View from Salmon Ruins
15. The Position of Salmon Ruins in the Middle San Juan, AD 1000–1300: A Perspective from Ceramic Design Structure
16. The La Plata, the Totah, and the Chaco: Variations on a Theme
17. Sacred Landscapes: The Chaco-Totah Connection
Part 7: From the Outside: Salmon and the Middle San Juan Region in a Larger Context
18. Population Dynamics among Salmon's Northern Neighbors
19. The Middle San Juan and Chaco Canyon
Part 8: Conclusion
20. Prodigy, Rebel, or Stepchild? The Middle San Juan Region vis-à-vis Chaco Canyon
Praise and Reviews:
"This book is a timely synopsis of the archaeology of the Middle San Juan region. All of the contributors are experts in their particular subject matter and bring this expertise to bear in some unique and at times, exceptional ways."
—Charles Riggs, Fort Lewis College
"Offers a welcome and long overdue perspective on some of those people who lived north of Chaco in the San Juan River system and experienced a historical development nearly as astonishing."
—New Mexico Historical Review
"Offers a major contribution to the archaeology of the northern American Southwest. The book's strength is that each chapter is jam-packed with data.
—Journal of Field Archaeology
"A well-contructed compendium of archaeological syntheses. Reflect[s] individualized perspectives from inside and outside the study area that take contrasting positions on many of the relevant issues of chronology, environment, and cultural traditions and influences."
—Journal of Archaeological Science
"Well organized, illustrated, data and reference rich. Most importantly, it provides a balanced spectrum of views bringing together both legacy and recent research to address a series of substantive issues."
—Journal of Archaeological Science