Hidden Revolutions: Re-examining Transitions in the American Southwest from an Anarchist and Network Perspective

Author(s): Lewis Borck

Year: 2015


Globally, archaeologists often talk about cultural change as a dynamic, directional process that leads toward either failure (collapse, reorganization, abandonment, and "stability") or state level societies. This evokes a unilinear evolutionary framework that most admit is flawed. But what if state level societies were not the "pinnacle" of human civilization? What if states represent societal failure instead? From this position, often glossed over historic periods may stand out as lynchpins vibrating dangerously on the rickety cart of human history. This paper, using both social network and anarchist theory, will re-examine one of these potential lynchpins: the widespread transition from dispersed pithouse communities into aggregated aboveground settlements that occurred throughout the American Southwest. I will argue that this was not merely a transition, but a Pithouse to Pueblo Revolution. This reevaluation can lead to many insights as to the "failure" of Southwestern indigenous groups to create state level societies and instead highlights their successes in maintaining incredibly complex egalitarian forms of social organization. This paper will finish by using macroregional data to examine how the above examination helps explain why local groups resisted the spread of a religious ideology (Salado) introduced by northern migrants into the southern Southwest.

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Cite this Record

Hidden Revolutions: Re-examining Transitions in the American Southwest from an Anarchist and Network Perspective. Lewis Borck. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395075)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;