Religion mattered to the prehistoric Southwestern people, just as it matters to their descendents today. Examining the role of religion can help to explain architecture, pottery, agriculture, even commerce. But archaeologists have only recently developed the theoretical and methodological tools with which to study this topic. Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest marks the first book-length study of prehistoric religion in the region. Drawing on a rich array of empirical approaches, the contributors show the importance of understanding beliefs and ritual for a range of time periods and southwestern societies. For professional and avocational archaeologists, for religion scholars and students, Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest represents an important contribution.
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Table of Contents1 Introduction: Archaeology and Religion 2 The Horned Serpent Tradition in the North American Southwest 3 Religious Behavior in the Post-Chaco Years 4 New Perspectives on an Ancient Religion: Katsina Ritual and the Archaeological Record 5 Icons and Ethnicity: Hopi Painted Pottery and Murals 6 Gathering Places and Bounded Places: The Religious Significance of Plaza-oriented Communities in the Northern Rio Grande, New Mexico 7 Iikááh: Chaco Sacred Schematics 8 Guanacos, Symbolism, and Religion During The Hohokam Pre-Classic 9 Elevated Spaces: Exploring the Symbolic at Cerros de Trincheras 10 Toloatzin And Shamanic Journeys: Exploring The Ritual Role of Sacred Datura In The Prehistoric Southwest 11 Precolumbian Venus: Celestial Twin and Icon of Duality 12 Religion and the Mesoamerican Ballgame in the Casas Grandes Region of Northern Mexico 13 Emergent Complexity, Ritual Practices, and Mortuary Behavior at Paquimé, Chihuahua, Mexico 14 The Salado and Casas Grandes Phenomena: Evidence for a Religious Schism in the Greater Southwest