The Chaco Meridian: Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest

The Chaco Meridian Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest Southwestern archaeologists have long pondered the meaning and importance of the monumental th century structures in Chaco Canyon Now Stephen H Lekson offers a lively provocative thesis which att

  • Title: The Chaco Meridian: Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest
  • Author: Stephen H. Lekson
  • ISBN: 9780761991816
  • Page: 263
  • Format: Paperback
  • Southwestern archaeologists have long pondered the meaning and importance of the monumental 11th century structures in Chaco Canyon Now, Stephen H Lekson offers a lively, provocative thesis, which attempts to reconceptualize the meaning of Chaco and its importance to the understanding of the entire Southwest Chaco was not alone, according to Lekson, but only one of threSouthwestern archaeologists have long pondered the meaning and importance of the monumental 11th century structures in Chaco Canyon Now, Stephen H Lekson offers a lively, provocative thesis, which attempts to reconceptualize the meaning of Chaco and its importance to the understanding of the entire Southwest Chaco was not alone, according to Lekson, but only one of three capitals of a vast politically and economically integrated region, a network that incorporated most of the Pueblo world and that had contact as far away as Central America A sophisticated astronomical tradition allowed for astrally aligned monumental structures, great ceremonial roads and upon the abandonment of Chaco Canyon in the 12th century the shift of the regional capital first to the Aztec site, then Paquime, all located on precisely the same longitudinal meridian Lekson s ground breaking synthesis of 500 years of Southwestern prehistory with its explanation of phenomena as diverse as the Great North Road, macaw feathers, Pueblo mythology, and the rise of kachina ceremonies will be of great interest to all those concerned with the prehistory and history of the American Southwest.

    One thought on “The Chaco Meridian: Centers of Political Power in the Ancient Southwest”

    1. Lekson's thesis didn't fascinate me all that much (he believes the ancient super-power cities of Chaco, Aztec, & Paquime were intentionally aligned on the same meridian because they were connected. The elites moved from Chaco to Aztec when Chaco fell, and then Aztec to Paquime when Aztec fell. His claim of elites also meets opposition, although I feel he has enough evidence that it should at least be seriously considered. Anyway, I can agree with his thesis-- I'm not an archaeologist and hav [...]

    2. One of the most interesting and innovative books about the area, by one of its most famous scholars -- he posits a unified theory of the Pueblo world centered on Chaco Canyon. Be warned, though this book was tremendously influential its general arguments have not by supported by more recent archaeology. As Lekson notes on the first page of the book: "This book is not for the faint of heart, or for neophytes. If you are a practicing Southwestern archaeologist with hypertension problems, stop. If [...]

    3. Was there a north-south meridian that influenced Chaco and points north and south? How did the Mimbres culture fit in on this same axis and what part did Casas Grandes play?The author, Stephen Lekson, will be in Silver City for a presentation on Oct.7

    4. I started reading this book while camped at Chaco Culture nat'l park (bought it in their bookstore). A most intriguing theory, and well presented. Now I really want to visit the other two main centers psotulated to lie on the 'Chaco Meridian'.

    5. A controversial book about an incredible time period in Native American history. Lekson is able to make fun of himself throughout the book by coming up with these incredible connections through time. A good read if your interested in american archaeology.

    6. The author makes a case for a Chaco Canyon to Paquime space-time continuum.Very interesting.The more I read about the ancient Southwest, the more I want to learn about it.

    7. Great book for someone new to the Chaco Canyon world. Lekson is irreverent and funny. The book introduces you to his theory of the Chaco migration, but also informs you of the other writers and their theories.

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