In the Southwest, the concept of the community has been especially useful for examining the organization of aggregated settlements. For example, archaeologists used the phrase “Chacoan community” to describe the social, economic, and religious relationships between large sites with distinctive architectural features and surrounding smaller sites in northwest New Mexico and beyond. By 1990, the concept of the community became so important that a regional biennial conference focused specifically on the dynamic nature of ancient communities in the Southwest. Most of the research on southwestern communities, however, has focused on sites that postdate AD 1000, a time when regional differences were clearly visible in architecture and ceramic styles. To explore the origins of these regional traditions, archaeologists are currently investigating the organization of earlier communities, especially those inhabited between AD 200 and 900, a period when cultural diversity first emerged in this region.
Keywords: aggregated settlements; Southwest; religious relationships; social relationships; southwestern communities; cultural diversity
Article. 3468 words.
Subjects: Archaeology ; North American Archaeology
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