Prehistory of the U.S. Southwest
The secluded cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the stunning architecture of Chaco canyon beg the questions: “Who built and lived in these places? What were their lives like? Why did they vanish---or did they?” In this course we use archaeology and ethnography to learn about the peoples of the prehistoric U.S. Southwest. Our examination begins with the initial settlement of the region about 12,000 years ago and concludes with the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 CE. You will learn about the people archaeologically known as Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi), Mimbres, Hohokam, Zuni, and others. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how archaeologists employ the scientific method to learn about these peoples and the strengths and weaknesses of our approaches. We will also consider if and how learning about the past can help us address contemporary problems. Readings will be provided from select book chapters, scholarly publications, and popular articles.