Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Ruth M. Van Dyke

Second Advisor

Dr. Randall H. McGuire

Abstract

This study reports on a ceramic analysis of nearly 1500 surface-collected potsherds from five unexcavated sites on the river terrace at Aztec Ruins National Monument, including the Aztec North great house. I conducted a detailed attribute analysis and mean ceramic dating.

The mean ceramic date for Aztec North is AD 1104±39, while other terrace sites have later mean dates. Based on these dates, it appears that Aztec North was constructed before or contemporaneously with Aztec West, and it might have been the first structure in the Terrace Community. These data support the theory that, even at this earliest moment, Aztec Ruins was already being planned as a unified landscape or even as a new Chaco. Moreover, the trade ware assemblages in the Terrace Community support the notion that people at this site were tied into Chacoan exchange networks.

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