With its monumental architecture and earthworks, exotic artifacts and immense scale, the accomplishments of the people who inhabited Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago stand out from everything that came before or after. As a result, theories of Chaco have been a continuing source of disagreement among archeologists.
Explanations of Chaco range from a Mesoamerican influence, centralized redistribution systems, complex chiefdoms, city-states, to a destination for pilgrims, among others.
In the last of a three-lecture series, John Ware, executive director of the Amerind Foundation, will argue that the key to understanding 11th Century Chaco may lie in deciphering the differences and similarities among the living descendants of the Chaco Anasazi, the present-day Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. The lecture will be at the Arizona Senior Academy Wednesday (July 9) at 3:30 p.m.
Ware is an anthropologist and archeologist whose research and teaching focus on the prehistory and ethnohistory of the northern Southwest, where he has worked for over 40 years. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Colorado. Ware has been with the Amerind Foundation since 2001. His most recent book, “A Pueblo History: Kinship, Sodality and Community in the Northern Southwest,” was published in March of this year.
John Ware’s Arizona Senior Academy lectures are always well attended. He will be retiring from the Amerind in August so this lecture will likely be his final presentation at Academy Village.
Submitted by Priscilla Moore, Academy Village Volunteer