Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Chimney Rock, an Eleventh Century Chacoan Great House: Export, Emulation, or Something Else? Public Deposited

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  • This dissertation asks the question: was Chimney Rock Great House an "export" or an "emulation" of Chaco Canyon? This question - a classic formulation in Chacoan studies, is addressed by a controlled comparison of specific variables of the architecture and ceramic assemblages from Chimney Rock Great House, Pueblo Alto in Chaco Canyon, and the Bluff Great House in Utah. Each Great House is compared to an associated, smaller community site (29SJ 627 in Chaco Canyon, the Ravine Site near Chimney Rock, and the Corral Canyon Site near Bluff) to determine if there are significant differences in architectural traits or ceramic assemblages warranting their designation as disparate site types (Great House vs. community site). Ceramics at the six sites are compared for ware category, vessel form, and temper type. Results of the ceramic analysis indicate that sites outside of Chaco Canyon obtained the bulk of ceramics locally, but that Great Houses had access to similar trade networks as sites located in Chaco, and to more exotic goods than smaller sites. Architecture at each of the six sites was investigated for a suite of Chacoan architectural characteristics (Great House; formality in layout and design of the Great House; Great Kiva and specific floor features associated with Great Kivas; Chacoan roads; earthen architecture; Chacoan round rooms; formal plaza), room sizes are compared, the scale of construction events are compared, and architectural histories explored. Results of the architectural analysis indicate that Chaco-era sites are variable, but that there is a distinct difference between Great House sites and small sites. The conventional methodology of the "export vs. emulation" framework is critiqued and alternative approaches that may be better suited to explore the diversity documented in the Chacoan World are presented. These approaches include investigating the rare components of artifact assemblages, considering the architectural history of buildings, and looking at relationships between political capitals and provinces in other prehistoric civilizations as possible models for interaction in the Chaco World.
Date Issued
  • 2012
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Last Modified
  • 2019-11-16
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