Surplus Production and Complexity in the Upper Little Colorado Province, East-Central Arizona
This chapter presents an interpretation of the economic and political organization of one area of the prehistoric Puebloan Southwest, the Upper Little Colorado region of east-central Arizona. It examines the relationship between population and productive resources and the surplus accumulated at both large and small sites. The chapter focuses on the measurement of storage volume in order to evaluate their real potential for “public affairs” and political and economic manipulation. The estimation of actual storage volume leads to some interesting conclusions regarding the production and redistribution of surplus in the prehistoric Pueblo economy of the Upper Little Colorado region. Regional religious and ceremonial functions were probably controlled by individuals or groups living at the larger, lowland sites who used the occasional economic surplus to fund those rituals. The communal ideology defines a structural norm with long-term continuity in Pueblo culture.