chapter  6
20 Pages

The Sociopolitics of Exchange (and Archaeological Research) in the Northern Southwest

WithStephen Plog

The resurgence of Southwest exchange studies not only has invalidated the assumption of ubiquitous household production, but also has demonstrated that the amount of exchange may have exceeded even the estimates of Shepard and Colton. Theoretical arguments often have focused on organizational changes that may have been associated with, and necessitated by, the transition to increased sedentarism and greater dependence on cultigens. The long history of neglect of exchange patterns in the Southwest and of the assumption of local, household production of various crafts, makes it almost impossible to test such proposals adequately. The decreasing activity of Shepard and Colton probably had much to do with that trend, at least from the late 1950’s to the late 1970’s, but equally important may have been their association with museums rather than academic programs where graduate students could have been trained to further their research programs.