Sacred vs Secular: Pre-Hispanic Village Landscapes in Southwest New Mexico

Author(s): Steve Swanson; Andrew Vorsanger

Year: 2015


In the pre-Hispanic Southwest, it is well known that certain places on the regional landscape were considered sacred or ritually charged, such as summits, springs, and caves. Less understood is the way that sacred and secular spaces were partitioned within prehistoric villages. In this paper we examine the relationship among secular and sacred spaces during the PIII/PIV periods at two villages along the Rio Grande. Each village includes roomblocks, agricultural features, resource processing areas, shrines, and petroglyphs. One village is the previously recorded Yarborough Site, on Tierra Blanca Creek, in the eastern Mimbres region. The second village, the newly recorded Sato Pueblo, is located just northeast of Socorro. Despite having only distant social connections, we find remarkable similarities in the organization of sacred and secular spaces. This suggests that there was a regionally shared cosmology that guided local village planning.

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Cite this Record

Sacred vs Secular: Pre-Hispanic Village Landscapes in Southwest New Mexico. Steve Swanson, Andrew Vorsanger. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397144) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8VD70RT

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.984; min lat: 32.064 ; max long: -103.008; max lat: 37.02 ;

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