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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Contextual Analysis of Wood-use Behavior at Wupatki Pueblo
by Briggs, Garrett W., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2017, 306; 10283007
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examined the pre-Hispanic use of wooden elements in the construction of Wupatki Pueblo to test hypothesis about wood-use behaviors exhibited by the architects. Did the inhabitants exhibit behaviors that can be explained through the use of a model of efficiency, regarding the procurement of timber for roof construction? Or, was the use of exotic and local tree species continuously harvested and used in the construction of the roofs at Wupatki Pueblo? Based on the results derived from statistical analyses and Exploratory Data Analyses, it is highly probable that the consumption of both exotic and local tree species persisted throughout the entire habitation of the site. The examination of radii among specimens with cutting dates led to the inference that ponderosa pine (local trees) were used for primary beams and spruce-fir (exotic trees) were used for secondary beams. While it is not precisely known if the inhabitants of Wupatki Pueblo felled their own trees, statistical analyses indicate the intentional use of spruce-fir and ponderosa pine trees for roof construction. Interestingly, previous paleoenvironmental reconstructions indicate that the environment has not changed markedly from today, thus, indicating the distance traveled today to procure spruce-fir from Wupatki Pueblo is an accurate approximation for the time and energy investments exerted in the 12th and 13th centuries. Hence, a model of efficiency does not explain the consumption of exotic species at Wupatki Pueblo. Using Ian Hodder’s (1987, 1991) theory of contextual archaeology, I propose a couple of explanation sketches that take into the culturally defined environment and the socio-cultural context following the eruption of Sunset Crater in 12th century northern Arizona.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Downum, Christian E.
Commitee: Lampe, Fredrick, Smiley, IV, Francis E., Towner, Ronald
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Department of Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Architecture
Keywords: Dendroarchaeology, Dendrochronology, Flagstaff archaeological area, Pre-historic, Wupatki Pueblo
Publication Number: 10283007
ISBN: 978-0-355-78004-8
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