The eastern Pueblo heartland, located in the northern Rio Grande country of New Mexico, has fascinated archaeologists since the 1870s. In Ancestral Landscapes of the Pueblo World, James Snead uses an exciting new approach landscape archaeology to understand ancestral Pueblo communities and the way the people consciously or unconsciously shaped the land around them. Snead provides detailed insight into ancestral Puebloan cultures and societies using an approach he calls ?contextual experience, employing deep mapping and community-scale analysis. This strategy goes far beyond the standard archaeological approaches, using historical ethnography and contemporary Puebloan perspectives to better understand how past and present Pueblo worldviews and meanings are imbedded in the land. Snead focuses on five communities in the Pueblo heartland?Burnt Corn, Tobimpaenge, Tsikwaiye, Los Aguajes, and Tsankawi?using the results of intensive archaeological surveys to discuss the changes that occurred in these communities between AD 1250 and 1500. He examines the history of each area, comparing and contrasting them via the themes of provision,? ?identity, and movement,? before turning to questions regarding social, political, and economic organization.
This revolutionary study thus makes an important contribution to landscape archaeology and explains how the Precolumbian Pueblo landscape was formed.
James E. Snead has held research fellowships at the School of American Research, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University. He currently teaches at George Mason University.