Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Chaco Anasazi

The Chaco Anasazi
Sociopolitical Evolution in the Prehistoric Southwest


Part of New Studies in Archaeology

  • Date Published: August 1996
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521574686

£ 32.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In the tenth century AD, a remarkable cultural development took place in the harsh and forbidding San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico. From small-scale, simply organised, prehistoric Pueblo societies, a complex and socially differentiated political system emerged which has become known as the Chaco Phenomenon. The origins, evolution, and decline of this system have long been the subject of intense archaeological debate. Lynne Sebastian examines the transition of the Chaco system from an acephalous society, in which leadership was situational and most decision making carried out within kinship structures, to a hierarchically organised political structure with institutional roles of leadership. She argues that harsh environmental factors were not the catalyst for the transition, as has previously been thought. Rather, the increasing political complexity was a consequence of improved rainfall in the region which permitted surplus production, thus allowing those farming the best land to capitalise on the material success. By combining information on political evolution with archaeological data and the results of a computer simulation, she is able to produce a sociopolitically based model of the rise, florescence, and decline of the Chaco Phenomenon.

    • Popular area of study among US undergraduates
    • Written in very accessible way
    • No competitive book available at this level
    • Presents explanations of how the Chaco system evolved which are both innovative and conclusive
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1996
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521574686
    • length: 196 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 175 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.398kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The Chaco Phenomenon: background and history of research
    3. Sociopolitical complexity and the Chaco system
    4. Routes to sociopolitical power
    5. Previous explanations for the Chaco Phenomenon
    6. Relations of power, labor investment, and the political evolution of the Chaco system
    7. Summary and new directions
    Appendix: the computer simulation.

  • Author

    Lynne Sebastian

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.