Date of Award

Spring 4-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Catherine M. Cameron

Second Advisor

Gerardo Gutierrez

Third Advisor

Richard H. Wilshusen


During the early Pueblo period (AD 600-900), farmers built increasingly permanent settlements in the Puerco Valley. In addition, population increased significantly after AD 750, most likely due to combined processes of in situ population growth and immigration. This thesis explores how Puerco Valley inhabitants negotiated cultural identity through pit house architecture. In some cases, groups maintained hard boundaries between their architectural traditions and the traditions of neighboring groups. In other cases, architecture does not appear to have been as important a facet of cultural identity. By the late AD 800s, the Puerco Valley appears to be a socially complex landscape of farmsteads and villages, each drawing inspiration from the architectural traditions of different surrounding regions.