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Pink Chert, Projectile Points, and the Chacoan Regional System

  • Catherine M. Cameron (a1)
Abstract

The most unusual aspect of chipped stone in Chaco Canyon is that materials were imported from a considerable distance but used almost exclusively as informal flake tools. Narbona Pass chert from the Chuska Mountains, 75 km away, is the most common nonlocal material found during the Chacoan Era (A.D. 900-1150). There are relatively few number of formal tools found in the Canyon, primarily projectile points, and a significant number of these do not seem to have been made in Chaco. New models of the organization of production offered by Earle, Hagstrum, Peregrine, and Renfrew (this issue) are evaluated using chipped-stone data collected by the Chaco Project during the 1970s. Chipped-stone data support the suggestion made by these scholars that great houses in Chaco Canyon were the focus of periodic communal gatherings. Deposition of quantities of Narbona Pass chert debitage in great house trash middens was apparently a ceremonial aspect of these gatherings, perhaps related to Puebloan concepts of renewal. Some projectile points appear to have been deposited in great house rooms or kivas as ritual offerings.

Résumé

El aspecto más distintivo de la industria de piedra lascada en el Cañón Chaco es que la materias primas fueron importadas desde fuentes muy lejanas aunquefueron utilizadas casi exclusivamenteparafabricar herramientas informales. La materia prima exótica más común durante la Etapa Chaco es elpedernal de Narbona Pass, un yacimiento localizado a unos 75 km de Chaco en las montanas Chuskas. En terminos relativos, pocas herramientas formales se encontran en el Cañón; ést as constan principalmente de puntas de proyectil, y de ésta, una cantidad notable no fue fabricada localmente. Los nuevos modelos que tratan de la organización de los modos de producción propuestos por Earle, Hagstrum, Peregrine, and Renfrew (en este tomo) son evaluados utilizando datos sobre la piedra lascada registrada por el Proyecto Chaco en los ahos setenta. Estos datos sostienen la sugerencia puesta por estas autoridades y otras que las Casas Grandes en el Cañón Chaco fueron las metas de reuniones periódicas y comunales. La deposición de cantidades depedernal de Narbona Pass en los basureros amontonados de las Casas Grandes fue, aparentemente, un aspecto ritual de estas reuniones, tal vez relacionado a unos conceptos de reanimación de las gentes Puebloenses. Unas puntas de proyectil a parecen como ofrendas rituales hechas en unos cuartos o kivas de las Casas Grandes.

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References
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