Archaeology of Bandelier National Monument: Village Formation on the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico

UNM Press
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The pre-Hispanic pueblo settlements of the Pajarito Plateau, whose ruins can be seen today at Bandelier National Monument, date to the late 1100s and were already dying out when the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. Until recently, little modern scientific data on these sites was available.

The essays in this volume summarize the results of new excavation and survey research in Bandelier, with special attention to determining why larger sites appear when and where they do, and how life in these later villages and towns differed from life in the earlier small hamlets that first dotted the Pajarito in the mid-1100s. Drawing on sources from archaeology, paleoethnobotany, geology, climate history, rock art, and oral history, the authors weave together the history of archaeology on the Plateau and the natural and cultural history of its Puebloan peoples for the four centuries of its pre-Hispanic occupation.

Contributors include Craig Allen (U. S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos, New Mexico), Sarah Herr (Desert Archaeology, Inc., Tucson, Arizona), F. Joan Mathien (National Park Service), Matthew J. Root (Rain Shadow Research and Department of Anthropology, Washington Sate University), Nancy H. Olsen (Anthropology Department and Intercultural Studies Division, De Anza College, Cupertino, California), Janet D. Orcutt (National Park Service), and Robert P. Powers (National Park Service).

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About the author

Timothy A. Kohler is a professor of anthropology at Washington State University, Pullman. His exposure to the archaeology of New Mexico's Northern Rio Grande region began during a sabbatical year at the School of American Research in Santa Fe. He completes a four-year term as editor of American Antiquity in 2004.

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Additional Information

Publisher
UNM Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 2004
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Pages
356
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ISBN
9780826330826
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Native American
History / United States / State & Local / Southwest (AZ, NM, OK, TX)
Social Science / Archaeology
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This content is DRM protected.
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Is wealth inequality a universal feature of human societies, or did early peoples live an egalitarian existence? How did inequality develop before the modern era? Did inequalities in wealth increase as people settled into a way of life dominated by farming and herding? Why in general do such disparities increase, and how recent are the high levels of wealth inequality now experienced in many developed nations? How can archaeologists tell?

Ten Thousand Years of Inequality addresses these and other questions by presenting the first set of consistent quantitative measurements of ancient wealth inequality. The authors are archaeologists who have adapted the Gini index, a statistical measure of wealth distribution often used by economists to measure contemporary inequality, and applied it to house-size distributions over time and around the world. Clear descriptions of methods and assumptions serve as a model for other archaeologists and historians who want to document past patterns of wealth disparity.

The chapters cover a variety of ancient cases, including early hunter-gatherers, farmer villages, and agrarian states and empires. The final chapter synthesizes and compares the results. Among the new and notable outcomes, the authors report a systematic difference between higher levels of inequality in ancient Old World societies and lower levels in their New World counterparts.

For the first time, archaeology allows humanity’s deep past to provide an account of the early manifestations of wealth inequality around the world.

Contributors

Nicholas Ames
Alleen Betzenhauser
Amy Bogaard
Samuel Bowles
Meredith S. Chesson
Abhijit Dandekar
Timothy J. Dennehy
Robert D. Drennan
Laura J. Ellyson
Deniz Enverova
Ronald K. Faulseit
Gary M. Feinman
Mattia Fochesato
Thomas A. Foor
Vishwas D. Gogte
Timothy A. Kohler
Ian Kuijt
Chapurukha M. Kusimba
Mary-Margaret Murphy
Linda M. Nicholas
Rahul C. Oka
Matthew Pailes
Christian E. Peterson
Anna Marie Prentiss
Michael E. Smith
Elizabeth C. Stone
Amy Styring
Jade Whitlam
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
This stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West was a major New York Times bestseller.

In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all.

S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches.

Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun.

The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being.

Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the “White Squaw” who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend.

S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.
Is wealth inequality a universal feature of human societies, or did early peoples live an egalitarian existence? How did inequality develop before the modern era? Did inequalities in wealth increase as people settled into a way of life dominated by farming and herding? Why in general do such disparities increase, and how recent are the high levels of wealth inequality now experienced in many developed nations? How can archaeologists tell?

Ten Thousand Years of Inequality addresses these and other questions by presenting the first set of consistent quantitative measurements of ancient wealth inequality. The authors are archaeologists who have adapted the Gini index, a statistical measure of wealth distribution often used by economists to measure contemporary inequality, and applied it to house-size distributions over time and around the world. Clear descriptions of methods and assumptions serve as a model for other archaeologists and historians who want to document past patterns of wealth disparity.

The chapters cover a variety of ancient cases, including early hunter-gatherers, farmer villages, and agrarian states and empires. The final chapter synthesizes and compares the results. Among the new and notable outcomes, the authors report a systematic difference between higher levels of inequality in ancient Old World societies and lower levels in their New World counterparts.

For the first time, archaeology allows humanity’s deep past to provide an account of the early manifestations of wealth inequality around the world.

Contributors

Nicholas Ames
Alleen Betzenhauser
Amy Bogaard
Samuel Bowles
Meredith S. Chesson
Abhijit Dandekar
Timothy J. Dennehy
Robert D. Drennan
Laura J. Ellyson
Deniz Enverova
Ronald K. Faulseit
Gary M. Feinman
Mattia Fochesato
Thomas A. Foor
Vishwas D. Gogte
Timothy A. Kohler
Ian Kuijt
Chapurukha M. Kusimba
Mary-Margaret Murphy
Linda M. Nicholas
Rahul C. Oka
Matthew Pailes
Christian E. Peterson
Anna Marie Prentiss
Michael E. Smith
Elizabeth C. Stone
Amy Styring
Jade Whitlam
It is one of the great mysteries in the archaeology of the Americas: the depopulation of the northern Southwest in the late thirteenth-century AD. Considering the numbers of people affected, the distances moved, the permanence of the departures, the severity of the surrounding conditions, and the human suffering and culture change that accompanied them, the abrupt conclusion to the farming way of life in this region is one of the greatest disruptions in recorded history.

Much new paleoenvironmental data, and a great deal of archaeological survey and excavation, permit the fifteen scientists represented here much greater precision in determining the timing of the depopulation, the number of people affected, and the ways in which northern Pueblo peoples coped—and failed to cope—with the rapidly changing environmental and demographic conditions they encountered throughout the 1200s. In addition, some of the scientists in this volume use models to provide insights into the processes behind the patterns they find, helping to narrow the range of plausible explanations.

What emerges from these investigations is a highly pertinent story of conflict and disruption as a result of climate change, environmental degradation, social rigidity, and conflict. Taken as a whole, these contributions recognize this era as having witnessed a competition between differing social and economic organizations, in which selective migration was considerably hastened by severe climatic, environmental, and social upheaval. Moreover, the chapters show that it is at least as true that emigration led to the collapse of the northern Southwest as it is that collapse led to emigration.
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