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Foundations of Anasazi Culture

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Copyright: 2000
Trim: 8 1/4 x 11
Pages: 308 pp.
Illustrations: 112 illus., 26 tables


Foundations of Anasazi Culture

The Basketmaker-Pueblo Transition

Edited by Paul F. Reed

Anthropology / Archaeology

This major synthesis of work explores new evidence gathered at Basketmaker III sites on the Colorado Plateau in search of further understanding of Anasazi development.

Since the 1960s, large-scale cultural resource management projects have revealed the former presence of Anasazi within the entire northern Southwest. These discoveries have resulted in a greatly expanded view of the BMIII period (A.D. 550–750) which immediately proceeds the Pueblo phase. Particularly noteworthy are finding of Basketmaker remains under those of later periods and in sites with open settings, as opposed to the more classic Basketmaker cave and rock shelter sites.

Foundations of Anasazi Culture explores this new evidence in search of further understanding of Anasazi development. Several chapters address the BMII-BMIII transition, including the initial production and use of pottery, greater reliance on agriculture, and the construction of increasingly elaborate structures. Other chapters move beyond the transitional period to discuss key elements of the Anasazi lifestyle, including the use of gray-,red-, and white-ware ceramics, pit structures, storage cists, surface rooms, full dependence on agriculture, and varying degrees of social specialization and differentiation. A number of contributions address one or more of these issues as they occur at specific sites. Other contributors consider the material culture of the period in terms of common elements in architecture, ceramics, lithic technology, and decorative media.

This work on BMIII sites on the Colorado Plateau will be useful to anyone with an interest in the earliest days of Anasazi civilization.

Paul F. Reed is an archaeologist with the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department in Farmington, New Mexico.


Jeffery H. Altschul, Statistical Research, Inc.; Larry Benallie, Jr., Navajo Nation Archaeology Department; Mark L. Chenaulth, SWCA, Inc.; Jonathan E. Damp, Zuni Cultural Resource Enterprise; Phil R. Geib, Navajo Nation Archeological Department, NAU Branch; Dennis Gilpin, SWCA, Inc.; Kelley A. Hays-Gilpin, Northern Arizona University; Edgar K. Huber, Statistical Research, Inc.; Timothy M. Kearns, Western Cultural Resource Management, Inc.; Edward M. Kotyk, Zuni Cultural Rescource Enterprise; Janet L. McVickar, National Service; Elizabeth N. Motsinger, SWCA, Inc.; Lori Stephens Reed, Animas Ceramic Consulting; Michael R. Robins, Navajo Nation Archeology Department, NAU Branch; Kimberly Spurr, Navajo Nation Archaeological Department, NAU Branch; H. Wolcott Toll, Museum of New Mexico; John A. Torres, Navajo Nation Archaeology Department; R. Gwinn Vivian, Arizona State Museum; Scott Wilcox, Navajo Nation Archaeology Department; C. Dean Wilson, Museum of New Mexico

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables
Foreword ~ Elizabeth A. Morris
Preface ~ Paul F. Reed

PART I: Introduction
1. Fundamental Issues in Basketmaker Archaeology ~ Paul F. Reed

PART II: Basketmaker Landscapes of the Northern San Juan
2. Locational, Architectural, and Ceramic Trends in the Basketmaker III Occupation of the La Plata Valley, New Mexico ~ H. Wolcott Toll and C. Dean Wilson
3. Colonization, Warfare, and Regional Competition: Recent Research into the Basketmaker III Period in the Mesa Verde Region ~ Mark L. Chenault and Thomas N. Motsinger

PART III: Basketmaker Archaeology on the Eastern Slope of the Chuska Mountains
4. Distinctive and Intensive: The Basketmaker III to Early Pueblo I Occupation of Cove-Redrock Valley, Northeastern Arizona ~ Paul F. Reed and Scott Wilcox
5. Socioeconomic Organization of a Late Basketmaker III Community in the Mexican Springs Area, Southern Chuska Mountains, New Mexico ~ Jonathan E. Damp and Edward M. Kotyk
6. The Early to Late Basketmaker III Transition in Tohatchi Flats, New Mexico ~ Timothy M. Kearns, Janet L. McVickar, and Lori Stephens Reed

PART IV: Lukachukai
7. Economics, Site Structure, and Social Organization During the Basketmaker III Period: A View from the Lukachukai Valley ~ Jeffrey H. Altschul and Edgar K. Hubar
8. Juniper Cove and Early Anasazi Community Structure West of the Chuska Mountains ~ Dennis Gilpin and Larry Benallie Jr.
9. The Basketmaker II–III Transition on the Rainbow Plateau ~ Phil R. Geib and Kimberly Spurr

PART V: Synthetic Studies of Basketmaker Material Culture
10. From Brown to Gray: The Origins of Ceramic Technology in the Northern Southwest ~ Lori Stephens Reed, C. Dean Wilson, and Kelley A. Hays-Gilpin
11. Changing Lithic Technology During the Basketmaker–Pueblo Transition: Evidence from the Anasazi Heartland ~ John A. Torres
12. The Bird in the Basket: Gender and Social Change in Basketmaker Iconography ~ Michael R. Robins and Kelley A. Hays-Gilpin

PART IV: Conclusion
13. Basketmaker Archaeology at the Millennium: New Answers to Old Questions ~ R. Gwinn Vivian


Praise and Reviews:

"Clearly written and carefully edited, this is a major contribution to southwestern prehistory and archaeology in general."

"This book will see a great deal of use over the years."
—New Mexico Historical Review

"A valuable contribution toward understanding culture history in the Four Corners region."
—American Antiquity

"Although this book is suitable for classroom use, readers interested in Anasazi culture will also find it a valuable source of information."
—Colonial Latin American Historical Review

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