Mesoamerican American Culture

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Introduction The study of the interaction between Mesoamerica and the North American indigenous populations has been conducted by archaeologists for generations now. Recent research expands upon the movements of the North American populations in the Mesoamerican territories back to the Archaic Period (Huckell). This research also expands understanding and realigning previous beliefs held by proceeding archaeologists concerning the origins of Mesoamerican artifacts excavated in the American Southwest. Archaeological evidence indicates that, with the exception the traditions of the maritime northwest, and Artic, the flow of movement within the entire North American population reinforces that concept that no one culture is left in an isolated…show more content…
Chaco Canyon is located in the arid desert steppe that is part of the Colorado Plateau, in what is today New Mexico. This area is known as the Four Corners, where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona converge. Occupation of the canyon can be traced from Palo-Indian times, to early sedentary peoples of the Basketmaker traditions on to the Pueblo/ Anasazi traditions. Chaco Canyon has a history of evolving occupation and the outlier settlements collapse in A.D. 1140 after the A.D. 1130 peak of Chaco’s dominance. Chaco is completely abandoned around A.D. 1300 and would not see repopulation until the Navajo settles the canyon in A.D. 1720, (2.Noble,…show more content…
900, with the rise of ceremonial objects, (Judge, 4), is when the most known evidence of Mesoamerican trade and influence is shown. Research upon 33 macaw skeletons excavated in Pueblo Bonito, has shifted some of the previous thoughts on the timeline of their presence and use in the ceremonial context at Chaco Canyon. Originally attributed to the peak of Chaco, (A.D. 1040-1100), the use of macaw feathers and the keeping of macaws has been pushed back to the beginning of this rise, A.D. 900. (Powell,1), (Watson, 1). Within the surrounding cultures and including Chaco Canyon, more than 400 total remains of macaws have been excavated in the region, (Watson, 1).
Other sites within the Ancestral Pueblo sphere, such as Lavender Canyon, Utah of Mesa Verde influence, show the use of macaw feathers in ceremonial ways. A DNA study published in 1998, examines a ceremonial sash form a cave in Lavender Canyon, Utah. The sash contains 2000 feathers. The results of the study find that the origin of the feathers is from southern Mesoamerica (Borson, 133). The question is how did the feathers journey to the American Southwest, are the birds transported or are the feathers moved north alone. What is known is that the feathers are not from a local
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