Sequencing Termination Events: Preparing Hearths for the Ritual Decommissioning of Ancestral Pueblo Pit Structures in the Northern U.S. Southwest
Author(s): Susan Ryan
With the development of a detailed contextual archaeology, we have gained the ability to identify how termination behaviors are related by subtle linkages in time and space. Individual actions that take place within the various portions of a structure are temporally distinct events, but are contextually related via ultimate decommissioning objectives. Each individual behavior qualified the meaning of those that preceded or followed it. Using multiple ancestral Pueblo sites in the Mesa Verde region dating to the Pueblo I-Pueblo III periods (A.D. 750-1280), this research examines how pithouse and kiva hearths were ritually prepared prior to the termination of the structure as a whole. Various preparatory behaviors identified include filling hearths completely with ash, placing material culture on and within hearth ash, and placing hatch covers over hearths prior to roof collapse. The timing of distinct decommissioning events is an important factor in determining the duration of the termination period as well as the order and nature of decommissioning behaviors.
Cite this Record
Sequencing Termination Events: Preparing Hearths for the Ritual Decommissioning of Ancestral Pueblo Pit Structures in the Northern U.S. Southwest. Susan Ryan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443949)
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min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;
Abstract Id(s): 18728