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Modifying Pottery and Kivas at Chaco: Pentimento, Restoration, or Renewal?

  • Patricia L. Crown (a1) and W. H. Wills (a2)
Abstract

Patterns of use of ceramic objects and masonry architecture at Chaco Canyon in the southwestern United States indicate refurbishing of some vessels and architectural forms. Ceramic cylinder jars show evidence for obliteration of earlier designs and subsequent repainting and refiring of new designs. Communal structures, or kivas, were dismantled and rebuilt. Three possible explanations for these patterns are explored: revision of errors, restoration of worn surfaces, or ritual renewal. Renewal appears the most likely explanation for most of the patterning seen, providing a fuller picture of Chacoan ritual life and beliefs. Implications for research in the Chaco area and greater Southwest are discussed.

Resumen

Patrones del uso de objetos de cerámica y de arquitectura de piedra indican retoques de algunas vasijas y formas arquitectónicas. Las vasijas cilí ndricas de cerámica demuestran indicios de borradura de diseños que posteriormente se repintaron y se re-hornearon con diseños nuevos. Las estructuras comunales, llamadas kivas, fueron desmanteladas y construidas de nuevo. Hay tres explicaciones posibles que se explorarán aquí: la revisión de errores; la restauración de superficies rotas; y la renovación ritual. Parece que la renovación explica en una manera mas creíble la recurrencia de los patrones presentes, y ofrece un panorama mas amplio de la vida y las creencias rituales del Chaco. Se desarrollan las implicaciones para las investigaciones arqueológicas en la región de Chaco y en el Gran Suroeste.

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References
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