Religious Transformation in the Late Pre-Hispanic Pueblo World
The mid-thirteenth century AD marks the beginning of tremendous social change among Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the northern US Southwest that foreshadow the emergence of the modern Pueblo world. Regional depopulations, long-distance migrations, and widespread resettlement into large plaza-oriented villages forever altered community life. Archaeologists have tended to view these historical events as adaptive responses to climatic, environmental, and economic conditions. Recently, however, more attention is being given to the central role of religion during these transformative periods, and to how archaeological remains embody the complex social practices through which Ancestral Pueblo understandings of sacred concepts were expressed and transformed.
The contributors to this volume employ a wide range of archaeological evidence to examine the origin and development of religious ideologies and the ways they shaped Pueblo societies across the Southwest in the centuries prior to European contact. With its fresh theoretical approach, it contributes to a better understanding of both the Pueblo past and the anthropological study of religion in ancient contexts This volume will be of interest to both regional specialists and to scholars who work with the broader dimensions of religion and ritual in the human experience.
“The strength of the book is—and its uniqueness derives from—the simultaneous focus of topic, the bounded time frame, and its broad comparative framework, both in terms of media and spatial extent. No other book has even attempted to achieve this, much less actually carried it off.”—James Potter, co-editor of The Social Construction of Communities: Agency, Structure, and Identity in the Prehispanic Southwest
“This book’s distinctive perspective separates it from the existing body of Southwest Puebloan archaeology, and of the materialist orientation of prehistoric archaeology in general.”—Peter Whiteley, author of Rethinking Hopi Enthnography