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Lecture 19

Lecture 19 – Chaco Phenomena- 1000-1150 AD

Course Code
ANTH 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 19 Chaco Phenomena: 1000-1150 AD
o Pochtecas
o Internal trade/buffering turquoise
Social complexity, someone was directing this
Occurred when the weather was very good, developed to deal
with shortages when none were expected
o Population and irrigation
People filled the area, people forced to use irrigation to supply
water to all plants
Needed to set up decision makers, where to make them, how
much water each, because so many people were attracted to
the area
Population grew because of immigration
Modern Hopi people: plant 3x as many plants that they are
going to need, if a good year they get a surplus, if not they will
still have enough to get by
o Experiment at a large scale, buffering of agriculture
Risk-pooling: how to get around risks by pooling goods
Evens out the risk of shortfalls over a large area
Suggests intelligent commoners general population saw
advantages in pooling resources, forcing people to become
leaders to organize the community and flow of goods
Real irrigational systems developed after development of
managerial system, trying to produce surpluses every year
o Good climate
1050-1130 AD above average rainfall for all these years,
based on dendrochronology
Generating surpluses, keeps coming in and none going out
because no one need it, storage
Lynn Sebastian always has to be some sort of decision-
making body to control flow of goods
What to do with so many surpluses?
Certain individuals who were aggrandizers, people who
want to be in charge and use excess goods to enhance
Trade to other areas for luxury goods, feasts to gain
support of the populous (eat more than they normally
Pull factors pulling themselves up above the rest of
the people
Explains the exotic goods found there “valuables”
exchange to enhance social status
Encourages overproduction
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