A reinterpretation of the occupational history of the Pendleton Ruin, New Mexico

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Abstract

The Pendleton Ruin, an adobe pueblo of approximately 125 rooms in the "boot heel" of SW New Mexico, was excavated by Alfred V. Kidder, C. Burton Cosgrove, and Harriet S. Cosgrove in 1933. It defined the Animas phase, dated between A.D. 1150 and 1450. In this paper, the occupational history of the Pendleton Ruin is reexamined, beginning with the excavators' assumption that the lack of trash accumulation indicated a brief occupation. Based on the published report, field notebooks, and collections, it is concluded that the site was occupied longer than thought. Evidence for at least one hiatus in occupation may explain how a long occupation is compatible with low artifact yields. Evidence also points to the construction of a platform mound along the northern side of a plaza. A reinterpretation of regional settlement and social organization, focused on the role and scale of settlement instability, is presented. Finally, the results present a case study of how reanalysis of excavated materials can be a useful archaeological practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-436
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Volume29
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

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