Explaining Organizational Change: Anasazi Community Patterns
Benson, Charlotte Louise
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To explain organizational change on the northern edge of prehistoric Anasazi occupation, a large block was archaeologically surveyed in southeast Utah. Resulting site distributions are used to interpret community patterns, and explain temporal change. Pueblo sites are grouped into temporal sets based on ceramic variation. Sites are functionally classified, and their activity ranges measured. Relative sedentariness and permanence of settlements is assessed, and the use of the study area found to become increasingly temporary and impermanent after AD 1200. This pattern shift is interpreted not as evidence for social structural change, but of organizational variation and the maintenance of mobility as an adaptive strategy in a fluctuating environment. Social organization and structure are differentiated through a review of work on social complexity in the northern Southwest. An archaeological method for explaining social change is advanced.