The Mesa Verde Region

Mark D. Varien, Timothy A. Kohler and Scott G. Ortman

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Mesa Verde Region

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The Mesa Verde region (MVR), located in the Four Corners area of the southwestern United States, contains one of the best-known and most intensively studied archaeological records of a Neolithic society found anywhere in the world. Among the characteristics that make it ideal for archaeological research and public interpretation are an incredible number of highly visible sites, remarkable preservation, precise dating, short- and long-term reconstructions of temperature and precipitation, and a long history of research dating from 1874. In addition, although Pueblo people have not lived in the MVR since the late thirteenth century AD, the continued vibrancy of Pueblo communities in adjacent regions creates opportunities to combine archaeology, ethnography, language, and oral tradition to create a holistic account of Pueblo history. This article synthesizes research by many individuals but focuses on the authors' recent study: The Village Ecodynamics Project.

Keywords: Mesa Verde region; southwestern United States; Neolithic society; Pueblo people; oral tradition; visible sites

Article.  4356 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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