The Chaco Meridian

One Thousand Years of Political and Religious Power in the Ancient Southwest

by

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1442246464
  • 9781442246447
  • 9781442246461
In this return to his lively, provocative reconceptualization of the meaning of Chaco Canyon and its monumental 11th-century structures, Stephen H. Lekson expands—over time and distance—our understanding of the political and economic integration of the American Southwest.
Lekson’s argument that Chaco did not stand alone, but rather was the first of three capitals in a vast networked region incorporating most of the Pueblo world has gained credence over the past 15 years. Here, he marshals new evidence and new interpretations to further the case for ritual astronomical alignment of monumental structures and cities, great ceremonial roads, and the shift of the regional capital first from Chaco Canyon to the Aztec Ruins site and then to Paquimé, all located on the same longitudinal meridian. Along the line from Aztec to Paquimé, Lekson synthesizes 1000 years of Southwestern prehistory—explaining phenomena as diverse as the Great North Road, macaw feathers, Pueblo mythology, the recycling of iconic symbols over time, founder burials, and the rise of kachina ceremonies—to yield a fascinating argument that will interest anyone concerned with the prehistory and history of the American Southwest.
  • Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; March 2015
  • ISBN 9781442246461
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Chaco Meridian
  • Author: Stephen H. Lekson
  • Imprint: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1442246464
  • 9781442246447
  • 9781442246461

In The Press

Not only does this edition contain considerable new content but the meridian itself is also expanded both geographically and temporally…. [The book is an example of] his humorous and modest, if not self-deprecating, style of writing that makes what could be a very dry treatise a thoroughly enjoyable read…. I dove into the deep end and came back up short of breath. Not so much because of the complexity of his arguments, for his clear writing style makes his positions easy to understand, but because of the sheer volume of data he provides to support them. Drawing upon a large body of published reports, with extensive endnotes accompanying each chapter, he presents his case in a lawyer-like fashion with a preponderance of evidence leading me to agree with him that there must be something more to this meridian thing than mere chance… So even if you have read the first edition, you will come away from reading this second one with a more complete and expanded argument in support of this concept and its underlying meaning. And if you have not read the first edition, fasten your seat belt because you are in for a wild ride.

About The Author

Stephen H. Lekson is professor of anthropology and Curator of Archaeology, Museum of Natural History, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has authored or edited over 10 books on southwestern archaeology including the award-winning Ancient Lands, Ancestral Places (Borderlands Book of the Year 1993), Canyon Spirits (Colorado Book Award Finalist, 2005), and A History of the Ancient Southwest (New Mexico Book Award, Science, 2010; Southwest Books of the Year, Notable Book, 2010). Lekson is also past president of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1442246464
  • 9781442246447
  • 9781442246461