Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Julie Solometo

Matthew Chamberlin

Anthony Hartshorn

Abstract

Previous archaeological investigations of plaza-oriented villages in the Salinas Pueblo Province investigated the reasons people may have aggregated in these larger towns. The threat of warfare and the need for defense is one possible explanation for the construction of plaza-oriented villages, whose layout is seemingly intended to limit access. This thesis further assesses the defensibility of these sites using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The use of a GIS approach offers an opportunity to evaluate the potential for line-of-sight communications and inter-visibility between the plaza pueblo villages on Chupadera Mesa, factors which influenced their ability to signal allies and anticipate attack. GIS also offers an opportunity to determine the relative defensibility of the region’s landforms, providing insight into the pueblo inhabitants’ site selection process.

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