Archaeology of the Wetherill Trading Post in Chaco Canyon

Author(s): Chip Wills

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Historical Archaeologies of the American Southwest, 1800 to Today" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Wetherill Trading Post and homestead at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, was at the intersection of a nascent professional archaeology in the American Southwest, the emergent trading post economy in the Four Corners region, the establishment of national monuments through the Antiquities Act, and the creation of a culture history for indigenous people rather than by them. The sociocultural and political dynamics surrounding the Wetherill Trading Post continue to have profound consequences for archaeological research and historical preservation. In 1910, the Wetherill Trading Post changed management but the physical plant continued to grow and became the core of the National Monument’s administrative and visitor facilities. The buildings were leveled in 1952 with little documentation and the trading post complex largely disappeared under windblown sand and vegetation. The University of New Mexico has conducted investigations at the trading post since 2007 which suggest that some of our understanding about the prehistoric period has been masked or misled by historical landscape modification.

Cite this Record

Archaeology of the Wetherill Trading Post in Chaco Canyon. Chip Wills. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451615)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23584