AuthorCooper, Laurel Martine.
Pueblo Indians -- Antiquities.
Pueblos -- New Mexico -- Chaco Canyon.
Indian architecture -- New Mexico -- Chaco Canyon -- North America.
Indians of North America -- New Mexico -- Chaco Canyon -- Antiquities.
Committee ChairCulbert, T. Patrick
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBuilt form, or human spatial organization, has usually been studied in cultural anthropology and archaeology as dependent on other factors such as social organization. Studies have been limited by a lack of measures permitting comparisons over time and space, so buildings remain little understood despite their visibility in the archaeological record. One approach emerging from multidisciplinary work emphasizes topology over physical characteristics such as shape and size; it examines linkages rather than individual components. The space syntax model of Bill Hillier and the Unit for Architectural Studies at University College London recognizes that spatial patterns are both the product and the generator of social relations. Built form is treated as part of a system of spatial relations, facilitating movement, encounter, and avoidance--both among occupants and between occupants and outsiders. Methods developed through analysis of a broad range of buildings and settlements are available to examine built space and its changes over time. A space syntax model allows a re-examination of great houses in and near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, built from the mid-A.D. 800s to the mid-1100s. The great houses examined in Chaco Canyon are: Una Vida, Pueblo Bonito, Chetro Ketl, Pueblo del Arroyo, Pueblo Alto, and Kin Kletso. The outliers are Salmon Ruin and West Aztec Ruin. Where sufficient data are available, the control and access features formalized through floorplans are graphed and quantified, allowing comparisons over construction phases and between different sites. The goal is to reevaluate past interpretations, ranging from heavily-populated villages to largely empty redistribution or ceremonial centers. More diversity rather than consistency is apparent from individual great house floor plans, but certain spatial characteristics emerge. Access patterns tend to be asymmetric and non-distributed, becoming deeper over time. Yet the occasional presence of rings, allowing alternate routes within a building, differs from earlier and later building forms. Access patterns differ between and within east and west wings, and the core units, even during comparable time periods. Seen from the perspective of the floor plan, the examples of Chacoan architecture suggest differentiation both within and among great houses.