Cotton as Commodity in the Prehispanic Southwest

Author(s): Laurie Webster

Year: 2018


With its strong symbolic reference to moisture and clouds, cotton has long been considered a precious textile fiber in the Americas. Adopted from Mexico as a tropical crop, it was well-established in the Salt-Gila drainage by 500 A.D., and by 1000-1100 A.D. it was adapted to the wetter microenvironments of the Colorado Plateau. Because cotton could not be grown everywhere, it became a prized element of trade and craft specialization. In this paper I examine the agricultural intensification, commodity production, and exchange of cotton and cotton textiles in the prehispanic Southwest with a focus on the Western Pueblos, including the important Homol’ovi villages.

Cite this Record

Cotton as Commodity in the Prehispanic Southwest. Laurie Webster. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444417)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20014