Interpreting Settlement Hierarchies: A Reassessment of Pinedale and Snowflake Settlement Patterns
This chapter focuses on competing interpretations that have been proposed for settlement hierarchies in the Little Colorado River region, Arizona. It examines the competing interpretations through a detailed analysis of lithic debitage and tools collected from Pinedale and Snowflake pueblos. The original interpretation put forth by Light foot was that the Pinedale and Snowflake settlement hierarchies represent the material manifestations of decision-making hierarchies. The interpretation has been challenged by some archaeologists who believe that the settlement hierarchies and differential distributions of architectural features and artifacts can be explained by factors other than complex decision-making organizations. During the period from A.D. 1100 to 1250, small sites containing masonry architecture served a variety of functions within the larger settlement system. Research designs must be implemented that incorporate both regional survey work and the excavation of a sample of pueblos from each site size category.