The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and beyond : Proceedings of the 1996 Southwest Symposium

The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and beyond : Proceedings of the 1996 Southwest Symposium

The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and beyond : Proceedings of the 1996 Southwest Symposium

The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and beyond : Proceedings of the 1996 Southwest Symposium

Synopsis

This book surpasses most regional studies, which often consider only settlement patterns or exchange, and investigates other forms of interaction such as intermarriage and the spread of religious practices. The authors focus especially on understanding the social processes that underlie archaeological evidence of interaction. The essays in this volume examine what regional systems involve, in terms of political and economic relations, and how they can be identified.

Excerpt

Southwestern archaeologists participate in a variety of professional meetings that address particular subregional cultures, such as the Mogollon and Anasazi. They also convene conferences or symposia, in the context of national professional meetings or as multiple-day advanced seminars, that are tightly focused on particular thematic issues generally not of pan-southwestern scope. There is also the Pecos Conference, first convened in August 1927 by Alfred V. Kidder at his field camp at Pecos Pueblo. The Pecos Conference, which today meets in various locations, is pan-southwestern in scope, but it has become a gathering at which colleagues present brief reports of their finds at the end of the field season. The Pecos Conference, as well as the subregional gatherings, regularly draw several hundred attendees but include only a fraction of today's active professionals.

Until 1988, when Paul E. Minnis and Charles L. Redman organized the first Southwest Symposium at Arizona State University, no venue seemed to exist to bring professional archaeologists together to address questions of general, pan-southwestern, theoretical, and methodological interest. That such a conference would be useful follows from the fact that southwestern archaeology has become increasingly specialized so that individual scholars now rarely work in more than one or two specific areas, whereas the Southwest as a whole should be the central focus of discussion for at least two reasons. First, preColumbian populations throughout the Southwest were in almost constant interaction as reflected by regional patterns of exchange, population movements, and local organizational changes that stimulated changes in other areas. Second, common processes of change occurred in each of the Southwest's subregions; these include dependence on agriculture, population aggregation, regional abandonment and the formation of regional systems, and pan-regional use of specific icons and symbols (Minnis and Redman 1990).

The first Southwest Symposium in 1988 provided a comparative perspective by bringing together scholars representing various subregions and theoretical perspectives and focusing on major transforma-

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