Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest

Overview

Massacres, raiding parties, ambush, pillage, scalping, captive taking: the things we know and sometimes dread to admit occur during times of war all happened in the prehistoric Southwest—and there is ample archaeological evidence. Not only did it occur, but the history of the ancient Southwest cannot be understood without noting the intensity and impact of this warfare.

Most people today, including many archaeologists, view the Pueblo people of the Southwest as historically ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $21.48   
  • New (4) from $21.49   
  • Used (2) from $27.02   
Sending request ...

Overview

Massacres, raiding parties, ambush, pillage, scalping, captive taking: the things we know and sometimes dread to admit occur during times of war all happened in the prehistoric Southwest—and there is ample archaeological evidence. Not only did it occur, but the history of the ancient Southwest cannot be understood without noting the intensity and impact of this warfare.

Most people today, including many archaeologists, view the Pueblo people of the Southwest as historically peaceful, sedentary corn farmers. Our image of the Hopis and Zunis, for example, contrasts sharply with the more nomadic Apaches whose warfare and raiding abilities are legendary. In Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest Steven LeBlanc demonstrates that this picture of the ancient Puebloans is highly romanticized. Taking a pan-Southwestern view of the entire prehistoric and early historic time range and considering archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence and oral traditions, he presents a different picture.

War, not peace, was commonplace and deadly throughout the prehistoric sequence. Many sites were built as fortresses, communities were destroyed, and populations massacred. The well-known abandonments of much of the Southwest were warfare related. During the late prehistoric period fighting was particularly intense, and the structure of the historic pueblo societies was heavily influenced by warfare.

Objectively sought, evidence for war and its consequences is abundant. The people of the region fought for their survival and evolved their societies to meet the demands of conflict. Ultimately, LeBlanc asserts that the warfare can be understood in terms of climate change, population growth, and their consequences.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Will be required reading for everyone concerned with the precontact Southwest or with the pre-Industrial Age human condition."—Patty Jo Watson
 

"This book should stimulate a long-overdue debate about the role of warfare in the prehistoric Southwest….Nothing half as comprehensive has been published on the subject."—Richard Woodbury
 

"Absolutely essential on the bookshelf of any scholar of the prehistoric or historic Southwest. It promises to spark and focus debate on the formation of basic patterns in the culture history of the greater Southwest."—The Journal of Arizona History

"Will put to rest any reasonable doubts that may persist about the presence and importance of warfare in the archaeological history of this region. [Le Blanc] has taken the analysis of warfare in the Southwest to an entirely new level."—Journal of Field Archaeology
 

"Successfully articulates why warfare needs to be systematically incorporated into models of prehistoric southwestern behavior. LeBlanc clearly presents a case for wafare that all scholars must address."—New Mexico Book Reviews

"There has been a wave of books by various authors that challenge the long-standing suppositions of anthropologists and archaeologists. One of these for Western history is Steven A. LeBlanc's groundbreaking work on the not-to-be-overlooked evidence all over the Southwest of continuous warfare for limited resources."—Journal of the West

"Unique for its general synthesis of Southwestern prehistory. LeBlanc's book has much to offer scholars and the interested public, and it will certainly be a defining work on warfare in this part of the world."—Science

"This is not a book for the faint of heart. But, in building his case for both endemic warfare and specific periods of lessened and heightened polity-based hostilities in the Southwest, LeBlanc raises a host of critical and deeply interesting questions regarding the nature of warfare in prehistorical societies in general and the Southwest in particular."—American Antiquity

Stephen H. Lekson
LeBlanc's new book is by far the most comprehensive and ambitious review of warfare in the ancient Southwest.
Archeology Magazine
Booknews
LeBlanc (archaeology, UCLA) tackles a subject that he admits is not pleasant; but he overcame his initial aversion to the subject when he found abundant evidence conflicting with a romanticized picture of the ancient Pueblo people of the Southwest as peaceful, sedentary corn farmers. He takes a pan-Southwestern view and considers archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence and oral traditions to assemble his detailed, scholarly presentation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874809084
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2007
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven A. LeBlanc is a research associate of the Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angelas.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 Evidence for Warfare 43
3 The Evolution of Southwestern Warfare Technology 93
4 Endemic Warfare in the Early Period: The Basketmaker and Pueblo I Periods 119
5 Pax with a Twist: Warfare in the Middle Period-Pueblo II and Early Pueblo III Times 153
6 Crisis and Catastrophe: Warfare in the late Pueblo III and Pueblo IV Periods 197
7 Social and Political Consequences of Late Period Southwestern Warfare 277
8 Conclusion 307
App Details of Late Period Site Clusters 321
Bibliography 351
Index 389
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)