Ground Stone Landscapes of the Ancestral Pueblo World

Author(s): Alison Damick; Severin Fowles

Year: 2015


The lives of pre-Columbian communities in New Mexico were anchored and shaped by stone features in the landscape. Stones were pecked, ground, and piled into cairns or circles; ethnographic evidence from descendant communities suggest certain stones received offerings of corn pollen, antlers, or prayer sticks; in other cases, parts of stones were removed as potent medicine, either as stone powder or flakes; elsewhere, it was the abrasive contact between fixed bedrock and tools that appears to have been significant. To call such features "shrines" is to focus on how they were bound up in indigenous understandings of the points of access to worldly powers. Here, we examine the logics of ground stone shrines (slicks and cupules) associated with ancestral Pueblo sites of the northern Rio Grande, paying special attention to their mode of construction, spatial distribution, and relationship to natural features of the landscape.

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Cite this Record

Ground Stone Landscapes of the Ancestral Pueblo World. Alison Damick, Severin Fowles. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395195)


Spatial Coverage

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