Cultural transformations in southwestern prehistory: new insights from old collections
Matson, R. G.
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Summary: Several major transformations shaped U.S. Pueblo Indian culture history between 1500 BC and AD 1300. These included 1) shift to dependence on maize; 2) emergence of the "full Formative" cultural complex; 3) collapse of the regional influence of Chaco Canyon; and 4) eventual depopulation of the northern U.S. Southwest. Collections and data gathered over 30 years ago in southeastern Utah by the Cedar Mesa Project have the potential to contribute significant new insights into each topic. This can be realized by 1) applying new methods of analysis to Cedar Mesa materials and 2) relating Cedar Mesa data to more recent evidence from across the northern Southwest.