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A New Way of Living

Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 27, No. 4

Issue editor: Sarah A. Herr, Desert Archaeology, Inc.

Archaeology Southwest Magazine, Vol. 27 No. 4

Cover image: This diorama of an early pithouse settlement—the SU site—in the Pine Lawn–Reserve area of west-central New Mexico was on display at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History for many years. Field Museum curators Paul S. Martin and John B. Rinaldo directed excavations at early sites in the region from 1939 to 1955. Produced in the 1950s with Martin’s input, the diorama was one of many created by museum staff artist Alfred Lee Rowell between 1941 and 1963. Such displays were intended to breathe life into the past for visitors, offering one interpretation of what a scene of daily life in an early village may have looked like. Martin published this photo of the diorama (in black and white) in his 1959 popular book Digging into History. Photo: © the Field Museum, no. A95413; colorization by Catherine Gilman and Kathleen Bader. Cover design: Kathleen Bader.

When you envision the Southwest in the distant past, what do you see? Hunters stealthily approaching a mammoth at a lush spring? Women chatting over their chores in a cliff dwelling high above a canyon? Perhaps a group of farmers setting out to make repairs on an extensive canal system fed by a red-brown desert river?

You probably do not imagine modest clusters of mud and wood structures among juniper-dotted grasslands. Yet, understanding life in these small settlements is essential to a more complete understanding of early village life around the world, not to mention subsequent developments in the northern and central Southwest. In this issue of Archaeology Southwest Magazine, we explore the transition to village life on the southern Colorado Plateau prior to about A.D. 900. How did the mobile foragers of the Archaic period (7000–1500 B.C.) ultimately become the village farmers we recognize as the ancestors of today’s Pueblo people?

A New Way of Living: Early Settlements on the Southern Colorado PlateauSarah A. Herr

Additional information about objects illustrated in the timeline graphic on page 3:

Petroglyph: Photo by Henry D. Wallace, enhanced for visibility by Catherine Gilman.

Jar recovered from the Connie site: Photo by A. E. Rogge.

Arrow point from the Connie site: Scan by R. Jane Sliva.

Large point from the Beethoven site: Scan by R. Jane Sliva.

White Mound Black-on-white bowl: Photo by Dan Boone/Ryan Belnap, IDEA Lab (formerly Bilby Research Center), Northern Arizona University and American Southwest Virtual Museum. The bowl is in the collections of the Museum of Northern Arizona, no. A5270.

Paired mano and trough metate recovered from the Beethoven site: Photo by Robert B. Ciaccio. Metate: Feature 78.03, Field Number 3301, Arizona State Museum (ASM) no. 2009-06-53. Mano: Feature 78.03, Field Number 3302, ASM no. 2009-06-54.

For further reading:

Young, Lisa C., and Sarah A. Herr, eds.

2012  Southwestern Pithouse Communities, AD 200–900. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

In Brief: The Neolithic PackageSarah A. Herr

For further reading:

Bocquet-Appel, Jean-Pierre

2002  Paleoanthropological Traces of a Neolithic Demographic Transition. Current Anthropology 43(4):637–650.

Kohler, Timothy A., Matt Pier Glaude, Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel, and Brian M. Kemp

2008  The Neolithic Demographic Transition in the U.S. Southwest. American Antiquity 73:645–669.

Emil Haury and the Definition of Mogollon Pithouse Villages, 1931–1955Stephanie Whittlesey and J. Jefferson Reid

For the complete story, read Reid and Whittlesey, Prehistory, Personality and Place: Emil W. Haury and the Mogollon Controversy  (2010), available from the University of Arizona Press.

View Jeff Reid’s Archaeology Café presentation on Prehistory, Personality, and Place.

See more images from the University of Arizona’s Point of Pines field school.

For further reading:

Haury, Emil W.

1936  The Mogollon Culture of Southwestern New Mexico. Medallion Papers No. 20. Gila Pueblo, Globe, AZ.

1949  The 1948 Southwestern Archaeological Conference. American Antiquity 14:254–256.

“On Thursday, August 26, at 9:00 a.m. there was a panel discussion on the Mogollon culture, with Paul S. Martin and E. B. Sayles as Co-Chairmen. This discussion, lively and informative at times, obtuse at other times, did at least bring certain problems into the open and showed the great need for a more energetic wielding of the shovel,” (pages 255–256).

1985 (editor) Mogollon Culture in the Forestdale Valley, East-Central Arizona. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Martin, Paul Sidney

1937  Review of The Mogollon Culture of Southwestern New Mexico, by Emil W. Haury. American Antiquity 2:233–234.

“Haury’s report is brief and reflects careful work and an orderly mind,” (page 234).

Wheat, Joe Ben

1955  Mogollon Culture Prior to A.D. 1000. Memoir 82, American Anthropological Association (Menasha, WI); Memoir 10, Society for American Archaeology (Salt Lake City).

Paul Sidney Martin’s Research at Early Settlements in Arizona, 1956–1972Stephen E. Nash

**This just in: A reader let us know that the gentleman identified by the Field Museum as Jeff Brown in the group photo on page 10 is actually her mentor, E. Craig Morris (1939–2006). Morris received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1967. Affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, he was a preeminent scholar of Inca archaeology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.**

Read Steve Nash’s Preservation Archaeology blog post about growing up among several of the archaeologists mentioned in this issue, becoming an archaeologist himself, and ultimately organizing and cataloging the Paul S Martin Collections at the Field Museum.

James Ballard’s photo essay on the Vernon Field Station and work at the Hay Hollow site appeared in the Field Museum’s monthly outreach publication, Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 10. Steve Nash’s father, Edward G. Nash, was managing editor of the publication at that time.

Martin’s report on work at the Hay Hollow site followed a year later in Bulletin Vol. 38, No. 5, also edited by E. Nash.

For further reading:

Nash, Stephen E.

2003  Paul Sidney Martin. In Curators, Collections, and Contexts: Anthropology at the Field Museum, 1893–2003, Stephen E. Nash and Gary M. Feinman, eds. Fieldiana (new series) No. 36. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

An Early Village in the Hay Hollow ValleyA. E. Rogge

For further reading:

Plog, Fred

1974  The Study of Prehistoric Change. Academic Press, New York.

Learning from the Beethoven SiteSarah A. Herr, Maren Hopkins, and T. J. Ferguson

Beethoven Site Excavations

Aerial photo of the Beethoven site excavations in progress.

Read about Zuni elder Octavius Seowtewa’s journey to European museums, where he represented Zuni in requesting the return of ceremonial objects (New York Times).

In Brief: A Project of OpportunitiesDavid Zimmerman

View digital video footage of discussion with tribal consultants at the Beethoven site.

The Federal Transit Administration’s MAP-21 Project

In Brief: Some Projectile Points from the Connie and Beethoven Sites R. Jane Sliva

Read Sliva’s essay on Middle Archaic and Early Agricultural points from Archaeology Southwest Magazine Vol. 23, No. 1.

Read Paul Reed’s Preservation Archaeology blog post on early bow-and-arrow technology in the northern Southwest.

A New Look at Pithouse Settlements in the Petrified Forest Gregson Schachner and William Reitze

Learn about CyArk’s work at Sivu’ovi.

Petrified Forest National Park

For further reading:

Mera, H. P.

1934  Observations on the Archeology of the Petrified Forest National Park.  Laboratory of Anthropology, Inc., Santa Fe.

Wendorf, Fred

1953  Archaeological Studies in the Petrified Forest National Monument. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin No. 27, Flagstaff.

Photo Essay: Early Rock Art of the Middle Little Colorado Plateau Henry D. Wallace

For additional images and commentary, click here.

Picturing People in Early Villages Kelley Hays-Gilpin

Early Communal Architecture on the Southern Colorado Plateau Dennis Gilpin

Additional information on bowl illustrated on page 23: Partial small hemispherical bowl, flat rim, with three complete, and one partial, figures holding hands. © Museum of Northern Arizona, no. NA8939.PH3.3. Photo by Kelley Hays-Gilpin.

Plan of the LA 61955 site adapted from Figures 4.5 (site plan) and 4.6 (great pit structure) in:

Damp, Jonathan E., and Elizabeth J. Skinner, eds.

1996  The N30-N31 Project: Investigations at 22 Sites between Mexican Springs and Navajo, McKinley County, New Mexico (Vols. I-IV). Zuni Archaeology Report No. 466. Zuni Archaeology Program Research Series No. 10. Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico.

In Brief: William Longacre and Beethoven Sarah A. Herr

Read an online essay by Lauren O’Brien on social learning frameworks and ceramic sociology.

For further reading:

Longacre, William A.

1964  A Synthesis of Upper Little Colorado Prehistory, Eastern Arizona. In Chapters in the Prehistory of Eastern Arizona, Vol. 2, ed. Paul S. Martin, John B. Rinaldo, W. A. Longacre, L. G. Freeman Jr., James A. Brown, R. H. Hevly, and M. E. Cooley, pp. 201–215. Fieldiana No. 55. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

1970  Archaeology As Anthropology: A Case Study. Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona No. 17. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

Skibo, James M., Michael W. Graves, and Miriam T. Stark, eds.

2007  Archaeological Anthropology: Perspectives on Method and Theory. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson. (This volume is a festschrift dedicated to Longacre and his work.)

Food Storage in Early Settlements Lisa C. Young

A Short History of Early Cooking Vessels in the Southwest Eric Blinman and C. Dean Wilson

In Brief: How Do We Know People Used a Vessel for Cooking? — Eric Blinman and C. Dean Wilson

The pots illustrated on page 27 are exhibited in column 3, shelf 5 of the Arizona State Museum’s “Wall of Pots.” Click here to view larger images and learn more, including catalog numbers.

Back Sight William H. Doelle


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