tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Social-Ceremonial Organization, Ritual Practice, and Ritual Use of Fauna in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

Author(s): Katelyn Bishop ; Samantha Fladd ; Adam Watson

Year: 2017

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Chaco Canyon, located in northwestern New Mexico, is widely believed to have formed the religious, economic, and political core of a large regional network that thrived during the Pueblo II period. However, debate continues to surround Chacoan ceremonial and sociopolitical organization. One approach to understanding the social-ceremonial organization of Chacoan great houses is through an understanding of the nature of ritual practice and the scales at which it was organized. Pueblo peoples, past and present, have incorporated animals into ritual practice, with a special emphasis on avian fauna. Given the well-documented ceremonial importance of animals, explorations of the use, treatment, and spatial distribution of their remains can inform researchers’ understandings of past ritual behavior. This poster examines ritual practice through an analysis of articulated faunal burials and avifaunal remains at several great house sites in Chaco Canyon. Relying upon excavation records made available through the Chaco Research Archive, we investigate the nature and significance of these remains, their associated materials, and architectural settings. Through the consideration of the differential contents and contexts of structured deposits containing faunal material, we address the flexible negotiations of social relationships that existed at great house sites in Chaco Canyon across space and time.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Social-Ceremonial Organization, Ritual Practice, and Ritual Use of Fauna in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Katelyn Bishop, Samantha Fladd, Adam Watson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429867)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Southwest

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16637

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America