Lecture 18 – Explanation for Chaco Society

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Published on 13 Jul 2012
Lecture 18 Explanation for Chaco Society
1. Pochtecas
o Mesoamerican influence
o Pochtecas Aztec traders
o Travelled to southwest, encouraged them to form centers to be a part
of the trade system
o Evidence they were in contact with the Anasazi: artifacts that made to
have come from Mesoamerica
E.g. copper bells, macaw (parrot) skeletons (probably for the
feathers), turquoise (pendants, burials, etc.) all have
ceremonial significance
o Trade probably maintained by some sort of leader
o But not hundreds of Mesoamerican items, very rare not very large
trade, not likely southwest was a major trade center
2. Turquoise Trade = Buffering Mechanism
o Compensates for local food shortages
o Turquoise items (beads, mosaics) used as ritual goods
o James Judge: Important to development of Chaco developed
turquoise industry to trade for food resources by trading to other
groups (trade for maize surpluses, etc.)
o Lynn Sebastian: numerous pottery, marine shells, etc. that have been
imported form surrounding groups, as much good coming in as there
are going out of Chaco, also argues for social complexity (trade under
control of someone in charge), creating large centers puts stress on
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