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Sandals from the Center Place, Footprints on the Pots: Continuity and Change in Twined Sandal Tread Designs from Chaco, Aztec, and Beyond

Author(s): Benjamin Bellorado

Year: 2017

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Summary

Twined sandals were important components of Ancestral Pueblo ritual paraphernalia for a millennium. They were expensive and time consuming to make and many had patterns of raised knots woven into their treads that stamped footprints with complex geometric designs on the ground when worn. Scholars have postulated that twined sandals were likely used in communal rituals, dance performances, and even foot races. During the Pueblo II period, their use appears to have been connected with communal activities at Chacoan civic-ceremonial centers. After the collapse of Chaco, these sandal making and wearing traditions disseminated into disparate communities of the San Juan Basin, including the Middle San Juan. In this presentation, I discuss ongoing analyses of twined sandal collections, documenting continuity and variability of attributes of sandal shapes and tread design layouts from Chaco Canyon, Aztec Ruins, and other post-Chaco communities in the region. While few sandals have been dated absolutely, I compare sandal designs with well-dated Pueblo II-era decorative styles from painted pottery and other media to date them relatively. With this research, I hope to shed important light on how twined sandals functioned similarly or differently at these two centers of Ancestral Pueblo society (and beyond), over time.


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Sandals from the Center Place, Footprints on the Pots: Continuity and Change in Twined Sandal Tread Designs from Chaco, Aztec, and Beyond. Benjamin Bellorado. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429980)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15540

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