The Chaco Meridian: One Thousand Years of Political and Religious Power in the Ancient Southwest, Paperback/Stephen H. Lekson

In this return to his lively, provocative reconceptualization of the meaning of Chaco Canyon and its monumental 11th-century structures, Stephen H. Lekson expands–over time and distance–our understanding of the political and economic integration of the American Southwest. Lekson’s argument that Chaco did not stand alone, but rather was the first of three capitals in a vast networked region incorporating most of the Pueblo world has gained credence over the past 15 years. Here, he marshals new evidence and new interpretations to further the case for ritual astronomical alignment of monumental structures and cities, great ceremonial roads, and the shift of the regional capital first from Chaco Canyon to the Aztec Ruins site and then to Paquim , all located on the same longitudinal meridian. Along the line from Aztec to Paquim , Lekson synthesizes 1000 years of Southwestern prehistory–explaining phenomena as diverse as the Great North Road, macaw feathers, Pueblo mythology, the recycling of iconic symbols over time, founder burials, and the rise of kachina ceremonies–to yield a fascinating argument that will interest anyone concerned with the prehistory and history of the American Southwest. About the Author: Stephen H. Lekson is professor of anthropology and Curator of Archaeology, Museum of Natural History, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has authored or edited over 10 books on southwestern archaeology including the award-winning Ancient Lands, Ancestral Places (Borderlands Book of the Year 1993), Canyon Spirits (Colorado Book Award Finalist, 2005), and A History of the Ancient Southwest (New Mexico Book Award, Science, 2010; Southwest Books of the Year, Notable Book, 2010). Lekson is also past president of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

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The Chaco Meridian: One Thousand Years of Political and Religious Power in the Ancient Southwest, Paperback/Stephen H. Lekson

In this return to his lively, provocative reconceptualization of the meaning of Chaco Canyon and its monumental 11th-century structures, Stephen H. Lekson expands–over time and distance–our understanding of the political and economic integration of the American Southwest. Lekson’s argument that Chaco did not stand alone, but rather was the first of three capitals in a vast networked region incorporating most of the Pueblo world has gained credence over the past 15 years. Here, he marshals new evidence and new interpretations to further the case for ritual astronomical alignment of monumental structures and cities, great ceremonial roads, and the shift of the regional capital first from Chaco Canyon to the Aztec Ruins site and then to Paquim , all located on the same longitudinal meridian. Along the line from Aztec to Paquim , Lekson synthesizes 1000 years of Southwestern prehistory–explaining phenomena as diverse as the Great North Road, macaw feathers, Pueblo mythology, the recycling of iconic symbols over time, founder burials, and the rise of kachina ceremonies–to yield a fascinating argument that will interest anyone concerned with the prehistory and history of the American Southwest. About the Author: Stephen H. Lekson is professor of anthropology and Curator of Archaeology, Museum of Natural History, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has authored or edited over 10 books on southwestern archaeology including the award-winning Ancient Lands, Ancestral Places (Borderlands Book of the Year 1993), Canyon Spirits (Colorado Book Award Finalist, 2005), and A History of the Ancient Southwest (New Mexico Book Award, Science, 2010; Southwest Books of the Year, Notable Book, 2010). Lekson is also past president of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

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