A Case for Clan: Revisiting Sand Canyon Pueblo

Author(s): Judith Van Roggen (Paterson)

Year: 2017


Archaeobotanical re-analysis of plant remains from the late Pueblo III Mesa Verde site of Sand Canyon Pueblo has yielded pharmacological plants and presence of clans. In this presentation the social organization of the site is explored through mythic and historic relationships recorded in Emergence narratives and ethnography. Plants, art, artefacts, architecture and disease at Sand Canyon Pueblo provide compelling evidence of Bear clan shamans, who, through their association with the mythic Elder and Younger Warrior Brother Twins are gifted the ability to diagnose disease. This process is encoded in rock art in the region and documented ethnographically. As the ceremonial father of the Younger Warrior Brother, the Bear clan is a significant source of social, religious, and leadership power that continues to assert influence today. A human skeletal anomaly and bear effigy at Sand Canyon Pueblo is echoed in similar evidence at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon suggesting considerable time depth to these connections. Sand Canyon Pueblo as "first" evidence for archaeological clans in the northern Southwest also hints at contributing factors in Mesa Verde depopulation and the more visible iconography of the Pueblo IV period.

Cite this Record

A Case for Clan: Revisiting Sand Canyon Pueblo. Judith Van Roggen (Paterson). Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429763)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16267