Rob Weiner presents for AAHS: "Monumental Avenues of the Chaco World: New Research at the Crossroads of Infrastructure, Ontology, and Power"

Nov. 22, 2021

Date: Monday, December 20, 2021 - 19:00

On December 20, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. AZ time, Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (AAHS) presents Rob Weiner (SoA Affilliate/DCC), "Monumental Avenues of the Chaco World: New Research at the Crossroads of Infrastructure, Ontology, and Power."

Registration required:

Researchers have puzzled over wide roadways associated with Chaco-style Great Houses in the U.S. Southwest for over a century. Despite frequent references to roads in Chaco scholarship, there has been relatively little on-the-ground assessment of how roads were used, where they led, and, more broadly, how they were implicated in the rise and fall of ancient Four Corners society. In this talk, I will present recent documentation of monumental roads throughout the Chaco World, with particular attention to small-scale, road-related architectural features and exploring evidence for practices of offerings, processions, and races. Interpreted in light of Pueblo and Navajo traditional knowledge, cross-cultural examples, and perspectives from cognitive science, I argue that roads—and the ritual practices carried out along them—were key to the emergence of both regional integration and burgeoning inequality during the Chaco era, serving as tangible manifestations of identity, hierarchy, and cosmography inscribed on the landscape.

Bio: Rob Weiner is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder, a Research Fellow with the Solstice Project, and Staff Archaeologist for Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions. His research focuses on Chaco Canyon, with particular emphasis on monumental roads, religion, gambling, and Navajo oral traditions. Rob earned a BA and MA from Brown University, and he has conducted fieldwork in all Four Corners states as well as Turkey. His research has been published in numerous journals and edited volumes, including a 2018 article in American Antiquity.

Anthro News Digest date: 11/24/2021