Review Questions for Chaco Canyon/Anasazi and Hohokam

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Review Questions for Chaco Canyon/Anasazi and Hohokam
I. Chaco

From class:

1. Describe the environmental setting.
2. Briefly describe the three primary models for the development of the Chaco phenomenon (i.e., economic, ideological and astronomical).
3. What do tree-ring curves tell us about changes in climate during the period of the Chaco phenomenon? What do we learn from pack-rat middens?
4. How have the Chacoan outliers – sites with impressive Chacoan architecture outside of Chaco Canyon – been explained? [There are two major explanations.]
5. How does Gwinn Vivian explain the differences between the settlements on the north and south sides of Chaco Canyon?
6. When does the Chacoan system break down? What changes in the environment correspond with this breakdown?
7. What sorts of correlations have been found between Chacoan buildings and astronomical phenomena? What is the significance of the Sun Dagger?
8. What evidence suggests that very few people lived in the Great Houses in Chaco Canyon? Consider the evidence provided by the buildings themselves as well as the odd composition of the middens. What functions have been associated with the Great Kivas?
9. What purposes might the Chacoan “roads” have served? What might the significance of the tower kivas have been? [Hint: the tower kivas were featured in the first video.]
10. What terms define the different types of cannibalism and what do they mean? What evidence is there to support the assertion that cannibalism occurred in the southwest during the time of the Chacoan phenomenon? What possible explanations have been offered to explain this behavior? Why do we believe that is was not associated with warfare? Why has the work of Christy Turner raised caused so much controversy?
11. What evidence points to some possible connections between Chaco and Mesoamerica?
From the text:

1. What is floodwater farming? [How does this differ from the approach taken by the Hohokam?]

2. When do the first sedentary Anasazi sites occur? Where are they located and why were they located there?
3. When were the first villages built in Chaco Canyon? What type of houses did the people live in? How big were the largest communities at this time? Describe Shabik’eschee. When were the first above-ground rectangular rooms constructed in Chaco Canyon? When were the first pueblos constructed?
4. What is a “great house?” Describe Pueblo Bonito. What do tree-ring dates say about the construction of Pueblo Bonito? From how far away were some timbers used in Chaco Canyon obtained?
5. When did the Chacoan system’s peak in population and size occur? How big an area did the Chacoan network cover and how many planned, Chacoan-style towns have been found?
6. What sorts of exotic materials figured in the Chacoan system?
7. When does the Chacoan system begin to decline? Where did the people go? What further restructuring occurred around A.D. 1300?

II. Hohokam

From class:
1. Describe the environmental setting.
2. What was important about the Salt and Gila Rivers to the agricultural system that was developed?
3. What was the response of the Hohokam to this environment?
4. List the reasons why it was disadvantageous to move frequently in this particular region.
5. How did the adaptation of the Hohokam differ from that of the people at ‘Ain Ghazal? What effect did this have on the long-term potential of the region for agriculture?
6. How did the Hohokam supplement the crops they grew?
7. What do we know about change in the environment during the Hohokam occupation and how do we know it?
8. How was it that so many settlements became part of the Hohokam system? How were they linked to one another and to places like Snaketown?
9. What caused the decline of the Hohokam? Describe the evidence by date and explain its implications.
10. Characterize the soils in the Southwest. What do we know about their potential and their ability to recover from overuse? What do know about the adaptation of early farmers in the region from the evidence left by the Anasazi of the Dolores river basin? What type of agricultural system did they employ? What sorts of requirements did this system and the environment place on them? What evidence do we have to document changes in the environment after 600 A.D.? Why was the area abandoned around 900 A.D.?
11. What is aggregation? How is it used to counter the effects of growing population and declining resources? What costs are associated with aggregation? What are the risks?
From the text:
1. When was maize introduced into the Southwest? Where did it originate? What was the response of most people in prehistoric Arizona to the arrival of maize?
2. When do the earliest villages appear in the Southwest? Where were they located? What are their primary characteristics?
3. What are manos and metates? What is wattle and daub?
4. What are the three major cultural traditions of the prehistoric Southwest and when to they appear?
5. Describe the Sonoran Desert region in which the Hohokam developed.
6. When was Snaketown constructed? Describe it. What developments occur around A.D. 600? What was the significance of the platform mounds and ballcourts? [Think about the type of sites in which they occur.]
7. Describe Snaketown as it was around A.D. 950.
8. Describe craft production at Snaketown.
9. Describe the canal system.
10. What happened to the Hohokam overall and to Snaketown in particular after A.D. 1150? What do these changes indicate?
11. What does Dave Wilcox have to say about the significance of changes in house clusters over time at Snaketown? What was the possible use of the square structures? What does the emergence of large house clusters at the core of Snaketown sometime after A.D. 900 suggest?

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