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Foragers and Farmers of the Northern Kayenta Region

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Copyright: 2011
Trim: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 454 pp.
Illustrations: 168 illustrations



Foragers and Farmers of the Northern Kayenta Region

Excavations along the Navajo Mountain Road

Phil R. Geib

Anthropology / Archaeology

Foragers and Farmers of the Northern Kayenta Region presents the results of a major archaeological excavation project on Navajo tribal land in the Four Corners area and integrates this new information with existing knowledge of the archaeology of the region. The excavation of 33 sites provides a cross section of prehistory from which Navajo Nation archaeologists retrieved a wealth of information about subsistence, settlement, architecture, and other aspects of past lifeways.

The 58 separate temporal components that were excavated are grouped into three major intervals: (1) 16 components from Archaic foragers who occupied the area during two extended periods from about 8000 to 5000 BC and then again from 2500 to 800 BC, (2) 17 components, mostly residential in nature from the initial farmers of the area known as Basketmakers, that are well dated to a period from about 400 BC to AD 600, and (3) 25 Puebloan components, mostly small habitations, that date between AD 1050 and 1260. The project also included a limited study of Atlatl Rock Cave, which contains dry deposits dating back to the early Archaic (ca. 7000 BC). The project’s most important contributions involve the Basketmaker and Archaic periods, and include a large number of radiocarbon dates on high-quality samples. The excavated Basketmaker sites complement and augment both geographically and temporally the findings from northern Black Mesa.

The project revealed long-duration use of a few favored locales—something not seen on Black Mesa—and several sites provided evidence for the Basketmaker II–III transition, which is not widely known throughout the Four Corners. The project found compelling evidence in favor of discontinuity from Archaic to Basketmaker for the northern Kayenta region and is backed by the findings from caves of the area, which likewise exhibit a lack of continuity in occupation and material culture. This volume is a summary of the four digital volumes that are available on The University of Utah Press website. They are a powerful record of ancient peoples and their cultures.

Phil R. Geib has worked as an archaeologist for 30 years, focusing on the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah and northern Arizona. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of New Mexico. He is author of Glen Canyon Revisited (UUAP 119, 1996).

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Introduction
2. Background for the Navajo Mountain Road Archaeological Project
3. Synopsis of the Navajo Mountain Road Archaeological Project Sites
4. Summary and Interpretation of Archaic Period Forager Remains
5. Summary and Interpretation of Basketmaker II Remains
6. Summary and Interpretation of Puebloan Remains, with Jim Collette
7. Conclusion

Appendix: Contents of Supporting Documents
References Cited

Supplementary Digital Volumes:

Volume 2: Archaic Site Descriptions
Volume 3: Basketmaker Site Descriptions
Volume 4: Puebloan Site Descriptions
Volume 5: Analyses and Interpretation
Appendix Volume

Praise and Reviews:

"Provides by far the best data available so far on the chronology of Archaic and Basketmaker II occupations in the Four Corners area."
—William D. Lipe, Washington State University

“A tour de force.”
—Don D. Fowler, author of A Laboratory
for Anthropology
and The Glen Canyon Country

"An engaging and data-intense book. I was impressed with Geib's ability to compress the results and interpretations from a complicated, large, data recovery project reported in multiple volumes into a single, well-written, and organized text."
—Kiva: The Southwest Journal of Anthropology and History

"An outstanding addition to the growing body of archaeological knowledge of the Kayenta region of northern Arizona and southern Utah. The synopsis of the excavations and laboratory analyses of materials from 34 sites provides concise, yet rich, descriptions accompanied by excellent cartography. Geib has achieved a remakably effective synthesis of a large body of new archeaeological data with attention to current research topics. Moreover, the work sheds light on a remote and relatively little-known portion of the northern Southwest."
—Journal of Anthropological Research

"This volume is an impressive demonstration of the potential of Cultural Resource Management (CRM) projects to make important contributions to basic archaeological research and of how project results should be disseminated. Overall this monograph and the associated online volumes are major sources not just on the archaeology of this region, but for the anthropological study of southwestern and more generally pre-agricultural Archaic societies, of the adoption of agriculture, and of the development of pre-village communities."
—New Mexico Historical Review


Winner of the first Annual Don D. and Catherine S. Fowler Prize

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