Shabikeshchee Village: A Late Basket Maker Site in the Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

By Frank H. H. Roberts Jr. | Go to book overview

up in the statement that it was the home of a sedentary, agricultural people who built their houses either of stone or adobe, or both, made pottery, and wove textiles.

This house-building, pottery-making culture did not spring full blown from the soil but grew by degrees from a very simple beginning, covering a long period of time in its unfolding. The stages in its growth and development are shown in a number of periods during which the people passed from a simple hunting type to a relatively highly cultured group. To facilitate study of this growth the several cultural levels have been classified under two main headings, called the Basket Maker and the Pueblo. As might be expected, there are a number of phases, with distinct characteristics in each. The Basket Maker group, which is the older, has three, while the Pueblo has five.1


BASKET MAKER I

The Early Basket Makers were probably a more or less nomadic group sparsely scattered over the area. They depended to a large extent on the natural caves of the region for shelter, although, if necessity demanded, they may have erected flimsy, perishable dwellings to shield themselves from the vagaries of the weather. Small game, wild vegetable products, and such fruits as the country afforded furnished them with a meager supply of food. Later developments were foreshadowed, however, in their baskets and textiles. The appearance of corn, presumably coming from the highlands of Mexico or Central America to the south, led to the beginnings of agriculture and the second stage of their culture.


BASKET MAKER II

The Basket Makers proper were a semihunting, semiagricultural people. They grew a single type of hard, flintlike corn and had a variety of squash, but apparently built no permanent houses and made no pottery. They stored the grain from their crops in stonelined pits located in the floors of caves. These cists were often put to a secondary use for burial purposes, and it is from these graves that the knowledge of their arts and industries has come down to us through the objects which they interred with their dead.

The chief industry seems to have been that from which the group takes its name, basket making, and in thins they were skilled craftsmen. Their baskets, twined and woven bags, ropes, sandals, and other objects are of a high degree of excellence. In addition, they did some work in stone chipping. They made javelin points and

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1
Kidder, Southwestern Archeological Conference, p. 490.

-3-

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Shabikeshchee Village: A Late Basket Maker Site in the Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • SHABIK'ESHCHEE VILLAGE - A LATE BASKET MAKER SITE IN THE CHACO CANYON, NEW MEXICO 1
  • Introduction 2
  • SHABIK'ESHCHEE VILLAGE 10
  • Appendix - CATALOGUE NUMBER AND PROVENIENCE OF OBJECTS ILLUSTRATED 151
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 159
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