The Ruins at Kiatuthlanna, Eastern Arizona

The Ruins at Kiatuthlanna, Eastern Arizona

The Ruins at Kiatuthlanna, Eastern Arizona

The Ruins at Kiatuthlanna, Eastern Arizona

Excerpt

Archeological work in the Southwest during the last 25 years has done much to retrieve the story of the unfolding of the aboriginal prehistoric sedentary cultures of the region. The stages represented by the great communal houses and massive cliff dwellings are now well known. There are certain phases of the earlier horizons, however, which still remain to be investigated and others about which only meager information is available. It was in an effort to obtain additional data on the latter that the excavations at Kiatuthlanna were conducted.

The present status of southwestern archeology was thoroughly reviewed in the introductions to two recent bulletins of the Bureau of American Ethnology.1 Therefore, a very brief summary will serve the requirements of this report. The area as a whole is a high and arid plateau which slopes away toward the south and west from the Rocky Mountains. About its four main river systems, the San Juan, the Rio Grande, the Little Colorado, and the. Gila-Salt, there developed a sedentary, agricultural people who built houses of poles, brush and earth, adobe mud, or stone with adobe mortar. In addition, they wove textiles and made pottery. This housebuilding, pottery-making culture was not suddenly introduced into the region but grew by degrees from very simple beginnings. Its growth and development are. shown by a number of stages through which the people passed in their transition from a nomadic hunting existence to a relatively highly cultured sedentary mode of life. To simplify study of this growth the several culture levels have been grouped under two main headings called Basket Maker and Pueblo. The two main classes have been further separated into several subgroups. The Basket Maker, which is the older, has three and the Pueblo five.

Basket Maker I is the nomadic hunting stage during which the people were thinly distributed over the region. Food consisted of game, wild vegetable products, and such wild fruits as the country afforded. The people probably relied to a large extent on caves for shelter, although they may have erected an occasional flimsy dwelling. The introduction of corn from the Middle American area to the south led to the beginnings of agriculture and the second stage of their culture.

Basket Maker II peoples were at first a semihunting, semiagricultural group. As time went on and their crops became more abundant they became more and more sedentary in their habits. Thus far no traces of their houses have been found and it is probable that at . . .

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