Social Networks and the Scale of the Chaco World


Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico has long been recognized as an important regional center characterized by impressive architecture and wide-spread influence across the Ancestral Puebloan region (ca. A.D. 800-1150+). Although few researchers dispute the strong similarities in construction styles and techniques most often used to track Chacoan influence, there is little agreement on what such similarities mean in terms of social, political, or economic relationships. In this paper, we explore the nature and development of the Chaco World from a network perspective. Using information on the relative frequencies of ceramic styles and types, the geographic origins of lithic raw materials, and architectural features we evaluate material evidence for connections: 1) between Chaco Canyon great houses/great kivas and outlying communities and 2) among outlying Chacoan structures across the Southwest. By tracking the complex webs of overlapping connections across multiple lines of evidence through time, we seek to develop a relational perspective on the scale of the Chaco World as well as the centrality of Chaco Canyon itself in this broader sphere.

Cite this Record

Social Networks and the Scale of the Chaco World. Matthew Peeples, Barbara Mills, Jeffery Clark, Benjamin Bellorado, Thomas Windes. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403701)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

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