The Anasazi handout by K4W1pw4


									Southwest Culture

      The ‘Fate’
        of the
     The Anasazi
Chaco Canyon
• Greatest site of Anasazi culture
   – Great population density
   – Linked communities
• Pueblo Bonita - Largest
• Center of Anasazi world (?)
• Controlled trade (?), Politics (?), Ritual (?)
   – Turquoise (?) Pottery (?)
                Hungo pavi
Pueblo Bonita
Kin Kletso
Fate of Anasazi

                  Factors to consider

           Factors to consider:
           Drought and Depletion
• Evidence from tree rings (dendochronology)
  –   poor harvests
  –   kept a two-year supply of food … but…
  –   abandoned high-density communities
  –   spread out on the land
  –   Hunting and lower-intensity food producing
• Eventual lack of wood
  – Building supply (beams and posts)
  – Fuel for heating and cooking
      Factors to consider:
    Environmental degradation

• Soil
  – Leached/loss of minerals
  – Salinization (salt)
• Deforestation
  – Needed to go farther and farther away to collect
    wood, until it became impractical
        Factors to consider:
• Forensic evidence in Late Period
  – Bone trauma
     • evidence of violent sudden and mass death
  – Post-mortem destruction (after death)
     • cannibalism
        – controversy: a common practice?
            » Coprolite evidence sparse (what is in the feces?)
            » so probably not common
• Drought, ecological degradation, and warfare
  went hand in hand
• Stresses caused by first two might have
  created violence among groups
• No evidence that warfare was with an alien
  group, although speculation has centered on
  Dine (Navajo and Apache) who entered
  Southwest about at this time
            No Big Mystery?
• Most dense/stratified societies decline at some
  point, and usually as a result of a similar
  combination of factors
   – Maya
   – Mesopotamia
   – Us (?)
• Warfare always enters the picture at the end, as
  people fight over diminished resources
• People rarely vanish entirely, but adjust to
  changed circumstances
                                    Pueblo peoples
• Puebloans retained many of          as Anasazi
  the same cultural features
   – Building style
   – Kivas
   – Even specific sacred beings,
     e.g., kokapelli
• Lower density of settlement          • Heavily defended settlements,
                                       often on mesas
                                          – Allowed them to cope w/often
                                          hostile outsiders
                                          – Retain their culture in a
                                          protected setting.

    Taos Pueblo
     Pueblo Peoples in history
• Protective and secretive, have survived to
  this day with an intact culture and language
• Defended against enemies for the last 700
• Enemies included:
  – Dine
  – Spanish and Mexicans
  – “Anglos”

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