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Lecture 20

Lecture 20 – Pueblo III & Pueblo IV

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Western University
Anthropology 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 20 – Pueblo III & Pueblo IV Mesa Verde, Colorado  Development of cliff palaces o Built into the mesas of cliffs  More lush area than Chaco Canyon, better rainfall etc. because of higher elevation  Reached its population peak after the Chaco phenomena  Never any great kivas o Differ in details  Burials much more common, very rare in Chaco  About 500 people lived in the cliff palaces, maybe another 400-500 people  Extensive irrigation systems for watering crops and day-today living (reservoirs)  Flourished for about 200 years, and then was completely and rapidly abandoned within a short period of time  Why such a rapid decline in Mesa Verde? o 1) Cultural Reasons  Warfare with groups who surrounded them  NaDene/Athapascan speakers – Navajo/Apache, hunter-gatherers  Known to be warrior tribes  Drove out Pueblo people in Mesa Verde  Highly doubted: prior to arrival of horse with the Spanish, these people were on very good relations with each other  Internal Warfare  Warfare against other Pueblo peoples  Not always on friendly terms with each other  At least 19 examples of violent deaths  Doubted: no evidence of extended hostilities  Disease  Easier for disease to spread in larger communities  Waste and burials deposited in extra rooms  No evidence of widespread disease in burials  No evidence of epidemics o 2) Environmental explanations  Area experienced great drought  Based on studies of tree rings in 1920-1930s o Invented by archaeologists Douglass  Argued there was a drought
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