Tsegai: An Archeological Ethnohistory of the Chaco Region

Author(s): David M. Brugge

Year: 1986


This report on the Navajo archeology of the Chaco region was planned as the final major contribution deriving from the Navajo studies conducted by the Division of Chaco Research. There is some work not finished as this is written. Whether it will see print before or after this is an imponderable, but it cannot be taken into account in my final summation in Part III, Concluding Remarks. Part III will have to stand as the primary effort at synthesis of the Navajo studies accomplished under the project. It does not pretend to provide a definitive statement of all the Navajo past in that region. There are too many questions yet unanswered for such a statement.

Most important still is the need to identify with certainty the archeological traces of Navajo presence prior to the Spanish Reconquest of New Mexico, 1692-1700. Although the Museum of New Mexico attempted to define a "Dinetah Phase" for this early period in the Navajo Reservoir district (Dittert, Hester, and Eddy 1961:245-46), the fact that the proposed phase was based largely on negative evidence and physical remains of uncertain significance led to relegating it to a status somewhat comparable to the hypothetical Basketmaker I of the Pecos Classification in the final report (Eddy, 1966). We have done no better in the Chaco work. The early remains of the camps of the first Apaches de Nabaxo have probably been noted in various archeological surveys, but if so, they have gone unrecognized for what they are. Until we do learn to distinguish these remains, the earlier phases of Apachean settlement on the Colorado Plateau will be known only from the accounts of the early Spanish explorers and colonists. While numerous tree-ring dates extending back as far as the 14th century have now been processed from Apachean sites, no good clusters of dates or real cutting dates are yet known prior to 1694, and these are from a small Pueblo-style structure (Wilson and Warren, 1974).

Cite this Record

Tsegai: An Archeological Ethnohistory of the Chaco Region. David M. Brugge. Publications in Archaeology ,18C. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. 1986 ( tDAR id: 178743) ; doi:10.6067/XCV80C4WNK

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.32; min lat: 35.59 ; max long: -107.331; max lat: 36.373 ;

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 2155270

NADB citation id number(s): 000000010148

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