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Crisis to Collapse

Tim Cunningham
Jan Driessen

IV. Modelling Climate and Reading Response

13. Crises as Opportunities for Culture Change

Timothy A. Kohler et R. Kyle Bocinsky

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In 1927, prominent southwestern archaeologist A.V. Kidder invited some three dozen archaeologists and a few other scientists, accompanied by assorted family members, to meet at Pecos, New Mexico and attempt to “arrive at an understanding in regard to underlying problems, the methods of accumulating and presenting data, and (last, but in some ways most important) a standardised nomenclature for artifacts, decorative motifs, and periods of culture” (letter from Kidder to Clark Wissler [Woodbury 1993: 15]).

This meeting - which established an annual tradition that continues today - was briefly summarised just a few months later in Science (Kidder 1927). Its most enduring result was the establishment of the ‘Pecos Classification’, an eight-stage scheme then thought to apply generally to the US Southwest, though today used to refer to developments in the northern, or ‘Pueblo’ portions of the Southwest. These stages were defined by the presence or absence of characteristic artifacts (atlat...

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