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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article briefly summarizes key developments in the post-Chaco archaeology of what is commonly referred to as the Pueblo IV period (AD 1300–1600) in the northern Southwest. It aims to offer up for consideration a third potentially unifying theme: reformation. The Pueblo IV period, it suggests, is best understood as an age of reformation, characterized by both a widespread social critique of the prior “theocratic” order of the Chacoan world as well as the institution of a reactionary and more aggressively egalitarian culture in which (1) the privileges of leadership were downplayed, (2) social uniformity and collectivism were emphasized, and (3) access to the spirits was, if not democratized, then at least drawn into communal experience far more than in the prior era. Herein lies the great relevance of the Pueblo IV period to anthropology generally, for in it we find what may be the best-documented countercultural tradition in world prehistory.

Keywords: post-Chaco archaeology, Pueblo IV period, northern Southwest, reformation, social uniformity, collectivism

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