The Late Anasazi tradition is located in northern Arizona and New Mexico and southern New Mexico from 700-450 BP. The people lived in pueblo villages varying from a single household up to 2000 people, usually housed in multistoried apartment-like structures grouped around an open plaza used for public ceremonies. Secret ceremonies were conducted in kivas and included masked Katsina dancers. Villages were clustered into regional systems, but trade was mainly between individuals and households and included long-distance down-the-line exchange up to 2000 km. Subsistence was a mix of horticulture, agriculture, hunting, and foraging of wild plants. Migrations, abandonments and spatial redistribution of communities that began in the Early Anasazi tradition continued throughout this tradition. Conflict and warfare were widespread during this period.
Select the Tradition Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.
North America --Southwest and Basin
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Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF Archaeology collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.
This collection discusses the Late Anasazi tradition in New Mexico, western Texas, northern Mexico, and eastern Arizona from 700 BP — 450 BP (AD 1300-1550).
Readers will find there is some overlap in the time periods, locations, and the material culture discussed in this tradition and in the Early Anasazi tradition (NT95). In addition, many documents discuss themes that range in time from Basketmaker II (NT93) up to today and cover the Anasazi, the Hohokam (NT76), and the Mogollon (NT85). Although each collection is marked for OCM (Outline of Cultural Materials) codes that pertain only to the Late Anasazi time period and location, readers are encouraged to examine the documents in the other collections for additional information.
Adams (1996, no. 18) provides an overview for the whole area of the Late Anasazi tradition, although he only explores the changes that occurred in the Hopi area over the Pueblo III-IV time period.
Upham (1982, no. 1) examines the political organization and political development of the Western Pueblo Groups: the Hopi, Zuni, and Acoma. Adams (1991, no. 3) also writes about how the Katsina cult helped the Late Anasazi villages to integrate the influx of immigrants and allowed them to flourish.
A majority of the documents are concerned with settlement patterns. Ferguson (1996, no. 4) uses the theory of space syntax in his study of historic Zuni settlements in order to shed light on the prehistori and protohistoric settlements. Kintigh (1985, no. 6), however, examines the archaeological settlements around Zuni to understand why the settlement system changed over time. Orcutt (1991, no. 15) examines some of the reasons behind changes in settlement patterns and land use. Adler et al. (1996, no. 16) explain the importance of examining both "push" and "pull" models when exploring aggregation and abandonment of settlements. Spielmann (1996, no. 19) summarizes the data on settlement patterns in northeastern New Mexico for the Pueblo II-Pueblo IV periods while Crown et al. (1996, no. 20) cover the settlement patterns for the northern Rio Grande area in north central New Mexico.
Analysis of human skeletal remains form the basis of archaeological studies on demography. Martin (1994, no. 9) discusses indicators of health and nutrition in the Southwest from around 1000 BC to AD 1550 with an emphasis on AD 900 to 1550. Nelson et al. (1994, no. 17) also examine Anasazi health and further, provide life tables and mortality curves.
Warfare and raiding were significant factors in the life of the Anasazi who lived during the late Early Anasazi to the early Late Anasazi time period. Wilcox and Haas (1994, no. 10) review the evidence for warfare, raiding, violence, and conflict in the Southwest from Basketmaker II to the Pueblo IV period and include the Anasazi, Basketmaker, Hohokam, and Mogollon traditions. LeBlanc (1997, no. 12) also examines warfare in the Southwest with an emphasis on the intense warfare that occurred between AD 1250-1400.
Gumerman (1994, no. 11) contains the references for documents 9 and 10.
For further information on individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.
Abandonment -- for information on settlement abandonment -- Use Settlement Patterns ( 361 )
Agriculture -- unspecified agriculture or when discussing the Anasazi staples of corn, beans, squash, and cotton, -- Use Tillage ( 241 )
Assemblages -- usually referring to the tools, utensils, and other equipment used by a household and its archaeological features such as hearths, -- Use Tools And Appliances ( 410 )
Bajada -- slope, inclination, hang, descent, or drop -- Use Topography And Geology ( 133 )
Burned structures -- Use Fire ( 372 )
Caches -- in general -- Use Saving And Investment ( 454 ) -- When the author specifies it is caching of household goods -- Use Building Interiors And Arrangement ( 353 ) -- and for food stuffs -- Use Preservation And Storage Of Food ( 251 )
Ceremonial precincts -- public structures usually in the form of council chambers. -- Use Public Structures ( 344 )
Chrysocolla -- a mineral of hydrated copper silicate that has a blue-green color. -- Use Special Deposits ( 317 )
Cimientos -- from the Spanish for foundation or footing; used in the Southwest for above ground, upright cobble foundations. -- Use Masonry ( 333 )
Civic ceremonial rooms -- Use Public Structures ( 344 )
Comales -- flat, baked clay griddles; -- Use Utensils ( 415 )
Communal activities -- for communal activities that occurred within a structure -- Use Public Structures ( 344 )
Communal gatherings -- Use Social Relationships And Groups ( 571 )
Communal structures -- structures that may have been used for communal storage, for a communal gathering place, or for some other communal function. -- Use Public Structures ( 344 )
Comunidades -- a unit of territory and local administration -- Use Territorial Hierarchy ( 631 )
Conus shell tinklers -- Use Musical Instruments ( 534 )
Cradles or cradleboards -- Use Infant Care ( 854 )
Dental wear -- Use Morbidity ( 164 )
Dog burial -- Use Special Burial Practices And Funerals ( 766 )
Enamel hypoplasia -- Enamel hypoplasias are developmental defects in enamel thickness. They appear as small dents, grooves, or pits on the outer surface of the tooth and can occur when the body is stressed during tooth formation in utero or childhood. -- Use Ontogenetic Data ( 145 ) with Morbidity ( 164 )
Etched Shell -- shell that has had an acidic liquid applied to create designs on it. The acidic liquid may have been the fermented juice of the fruit from the saguaro cactus. -- Use Bone Horn And Shell Technology ( 321 )
Gallets -- a small stone used to fill mortar joints, a type of masonry; -- Use Masonry ( 333 )
Gallet spalls -- a small stone used to fill mortar joints, a type of masonry; -- Use Masonry ( 333 )
Great House -- a large, usually multi-storied building with architecture and masonry similar to that found in the larger sites in Chaco Canyon; -- Use Public Structures ( 344 ) -- When discussing the distribution of great houses -- Use Miscellaneous Facilities ( 368 )
Household assemblages -- the artifacts found within a pithouse structure; -- Use Household ( 592 )
Hyperostotic traits -- A nonmetric trait. "Hyperostotic refers to traits with an excess of bone formation, but this definition can incorporate numerous different reasons for why the excess bone formed." (Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton. Edited by M. Ann Katzenberg and Shelly R. Saunders, 2008. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Hoboken, New Jersey.). -- Use Morbidity ( 164 )
Hypostotic traits -- “Traits that result from insufficient osseous development. Examples include … failure of foramina to achieve closure.” (page 254, Barbian, Lenore. 1991. Appendix IV The Relationship Between Black Mesa and Other Southwestern Groups: A Biodistance Study. In: Black Mesa Anasazi Health: Reconstructing Life from Patterns of Death and Disease. By Debra L. Martin et al. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Center for Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 14.) -- Use Morbidity ( 164 )
Integrative feature/integrative structure -- structures or features that were used to bring a community together, probably through the use of public ceremonies; -- Use Public Structures ( 344 )
Jacal -- A method of construction whereby a wall is made of upright poles or sticks tied together and then covered and chinked with mud or clay; -- Use Architecture ( 341 )
Katsina cult -- Use Congregations ( 794 )
Katsinas -- when referring to katsinas as spirits, rainmakers or ancestors -- Use Spirits And Gods ( 776 ) -- when discussing the dancers -- Use Dance ( 535 ) -- when discussing katsinas as they appear in art -- Use Visual Arts ( 5311 ) -- and when referring to the dolls -- Use Games ( 524 )
Lac -- Lac is the bright red secretion from several species of insects. -- Use Paint And Dye Manufacture ( 386 )
Lithic raw material transportation -- Use Travel ( 484 )
Local systems -- a political unit above the community level but lower than the regional network -- Use Territorial Hierarchy ( 631 )
Macaw burials -- Use Special Burial Practices And Funerals ( 766 )
Marginal environment -- Use Geography ( 130 )
Mica -- when its presence is noted within an archaeological site -- Use Special Deposits ( 317 )
Mullers and milling stones -- See "Objects used in a round-and-round grinding motion, a process often used on seeds, but not corn …" (page 130; R. S. MacNeish and Peggy Wilner 1998 "Excavation of Pintada Rockshelter on McGregor Firing Range in New Mexico." University of Texas at El Paso) - use "FOOD PREPARATION (252)" with "GENERAL TOOLS (412)"
Pahos -- prayer sticks -- Use Prayers And Sacrifices ( 782 )
Periosteal reactions -- a nonspecific infectious lesion that appears on the outer perioisteal surface of a bone. -- Use Morbidity ( 164 )
Petate -- matting; -- Use Mats And Basketry ( 285 )
Piki Stones -- a flat stone used like a griddle to cook piki bread. Piki bread is a thin, dry, bread similar to a tortilla, made from ground corn that has been soaked in water with ash mixed in. -- Use Food Preparation ( 252 ) with General Tools ( 412 )
Pit Structures -- Use Dwellings ( 342 )
Plazas -- for walled plazas and open, unwalled plazas -- Use Settlement Patterns ( 361 )
Pochteca -- A pochtecatl (plural pochteca) was a professional longdistance traveling merchant in the Aztec Empire. In the context of the Late Anasazi tradition it represents a traveling merchant from Mesoamerica who provided information and trade goods from distant areas. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pochteca). -- Use Mercantile Business ( 441 )
Porotic hyperostosis -- “…A descriptive term for lesions on the cranium, the roof of the eye orbits, and the ends of the long bones. These lesions are produced by bone marrow proliferation that is diagnostic of anemia.” (page 149 from Marin et al. 1991. “Black Mesa Anasazi Health: Reconstructing Life from Patterns of Death and Disease.” Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Center of Archaeological Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 14.) -- Use Nutrition ( 146 ) with Morbidity ( 164 )
Pot Rests -- See see Trivets
r -- A symbol used in reference to a dendrochronological date. “The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona uses the symbol “r” to mean that less than a full section [of a tree] is present, but the outermost ring is continuous around the available circumference. The symbol may in fact be a cutting date, and therefore may provide a date for the year the room was built. When one or more rings may be missing near the end of the ring series whose presence or absence cannot be determined, the symbol “+” is used.” (page 39, Harry Shafer 1995. "Architecture and Symbolism in Transitional Pueblo Development in the Mimbres Valley, Southwest New Mexico." In: Journal of Field Archaeology volume 22, no. 1, Spring 1995.). -- Use Dating Methods In Archaeology ( 1211 )
Regionalization or regional subtraditions -- Use Cultural Participation ( 184 )
Roasting pits -- Use Heating And Lighting Equipment ( 354 )
Room counts -- Use Dwellings ( 342 )
Sandals -- Use Normal Garb ( 291 )
Scavenging -- when abandoned structures may have been scavenged for various useful items -- Use Acquisition And Relinquishment Of Property ( 425 )
Segmentary organization -- Use Social Relationships And Groups ( 571 )
Sipapu -- the Hopi word for pit shrine. To the Hopi it represents the center of the cosmos. -- Use Sacred Objects And Places ( 778 )
Skull shape -- Use Body Alterations ( 304 )
Small house sites -- when discussing the distribution of small house sites or small house site communities use "HOUSING (362)." When discussing small houses themselves -- Use Dwellings ( 342 )
Storage caches/cists/pits -- Use Warehousing ( 488 )
Storage pits -- when they are found within houses or pit structures -- Use Building Interiors And Arrangement ( 353 )
Tablita -- a headdress worn by dancers in ceremonial dances. -- Use Special Garments ( 292 )
Third molar agenesis -- The failure of the third molar or wisdom tooth to develop or erupt. -- Use Ontogenetic Data ( 145 )
Tooth hypoplasia -- A tooth hypoplasia is an enamel hypoplasia that indicates a developmental defect in enamel thickness. They appear as small dents, grooves, or pits on the outer surface of a tooth and can occur when the body is stress during tooth formation in utero or childhood. -- Use Ontogenetic Data ( 145 ) with Morbidity ( 164 )
Tower mounds -- Use Miscellaneous Structures ( 349 )
Trivets -- Useandor Miscellaneous Hardware ( 414 )
Turkeys -- Use Fauna ( 136 )
Turquoise -- Its presence or its use in an archaeological site -- Use Special Deposits ( 317 )
vv -- “The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona uses the symbol 'vv' when there is no way of estimating how far the last ring is from the outside.” (page 37, Harry Shafer 1995 Architecture and Symbolism in Transitional Pueblo Development in the Mimbres Valley, Southwest New Mexico. In: Journal of Field Archaeology volume 22, no. 1, Spring 1995.). -- Use Dating Methods In Archaeology ( 1211 )
Viga -- a wooden roof beam used to support a roof in adobe construction. -- Use Carpentry ( 335 )