Prehistoric Culture Change on the Colorado Plateau: Ten Thousand Years on Black Mesa

Prehistoric Culture Change on the Colorado Plateau: Ten Thousand Years on Black Mesa

by Shirley Powell, Francis E. Smiley

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One of the largest archaeological projects ever undertaken in North America, Peabody Coal Company's Black Mesa Archaeological Project conducted investigations in northeastern Arizona from 1967 to 1983. This mammoth undertaking recognized and recovered the remains of ephemeral camps, early agricultural sites, Puebloan villages, and Navajo settlements stretching over nearly ten millennia of human occupation.

Now a single comprehensive work summarizes the results of this intensive survey, excavation, and analysis. Prehistoric Culture Change on the Colorado Plateau offers the only complete synthesis of Kayenta-area archaeology as well as the single most intensive study of the ancestral Puebloan and Navajo occupation of the Four Corners region. It also provides the human context for more than two decades of theoretical, methodological, and empirical work.

The authors—all associated with the Black Mesa project—synthesize previous analyses of faunal, lithic, ceramic, chronometric, and human osteological data, weaving a coherent and compelling story of the prehistory and ethnohistory of northern Arizona. Through these data, they provide a summary of culture history which emphasizes that organizational variation and other aspects of culture change are largely a response to a changing natural environment.

The volume provides a systematic overview of human occupation on and around Black Mesa through time, beginning with the Paleoindian period, moving through the Archaic and Basketmaker periods, considering the Puebloan dispersion and the magnificent remains of the Pueblo III period, and culminating with Hopi and Navajo perspectives on their history. The authors examine relationships among population density, subsistence strategies, and social organization, and use these data to identify the regional context within which the Black Mesa people may have operated during different time periods.

Broad in scope with a wealth of supporting detail, Prehistoric Culture Change on the Colorado Plateau offers a basic reference on this important project that collects twenty years of analysis into one volume. It is a unique touchstone in Southwest archaeology that will stand as the last word on Black Mesa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816535972
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 10/15/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 236
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Shirley Powell directed the Black Mesa Archaeological Project between 1978 and 1987 and is currently a principal investigator with Archaeological Consulting Services in Tempe, Arizona.

Francis E. Smiley is professor and chair of anthropology at Northern Arizona University.

Table of Contents

Contents Foreword - Robert C. Euler Acknowledgments - Shirley Powell and Francis E. Smiley 1. A History and Retrospective of the Black Mesa Archaeological Project - Shirley Powell, George J. Gumerman, and Francis E. Smiley Part I. Hunters and Gatherers 2. Black Mesa before Agriculture: Paleoindian and Archaic Evidence - Francis E. Smiley Part II. Kayenta Farmers and Villagers 3. The First Black Mesa Farmers: The White Dog and Lolomai Phases - Francis E. Smiley 4. Basketmaker III: Early Ceramic-Period Villages in the Kayenta Region - Deborah L. Nichols Part III. The Puebloan Dispersion 5. The Puebloan Florescence and Dispersion: Dinnebito and Beyond, A.D. 800-1150 - Shirley Powell Part IV. Late Pueblo II and Pueblo III in Kayenta-Branch Prehistory 6. Late Pueblo II-Pueblo III in Kayenta-Branch Prehistory - Jeffrey S. Dean Part V. A View from the Present 7. Hopit Navotiat, Hopi Knowledge of History: Hopi Presence on Black Mesa - Leigh Kuwanwisiwma 8. The Navajos and Black Mesa - Miranda Warburton and Richard M. Begay 9. Black Mesa Present and Past - Shirley Powell and Francis E. Smiley References Cited List of Contributors Index

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