• June 29, 2017
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

“Ideas and Lecture Series”

Sponsored by the Sunflower Theatre


Hisatsinom  Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological  Society Presents:

Thursday, June 29th, 7:00pm – Phil GeibWhat Cave 7 Has to Say About the Cause(s) of Basketmaker II Warfare

One facet of life for the Basketmaker II farmers on the Colorado Plateau was lethal intergroup conflict, commonly known as war.  This was during the interval from about 500 BC – AD 500, after food production based on maize and squash farming had become central to the subsistence economy.  Massacre assemblages provide the most conclusive evidence for war during this interval, but there are other indications as well, including rock art depictions of violence or war trophies.  Basketmakers shared the apparent human penchant for killing our own kind, but why?  The oft-cited need for land or food may seem an intuitively satisfying explanation for warfare, but intergroup conflict can remain omnipresent even when resources are abundant.  Another common explanation is strife between different ethno-linguistic/cultural groups, and Basketmakers seem to have distinct origins such that this aspect could have played a significant role.  This talk will consider such issues from the most renowned Basketmaker II massacre site: Wetherill’s Cave 7 in SE Utah.

Phil Geib earned his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He is currently a member of the anthropology faculty at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Phil has worked as an archaeologist for more than thirty years, with a focus on the Colorado Plateau in southern Utah and northern Arizona. He is the author of a large number of articles, contract reports, and books, including Glen Canyon Revisited (1996) and Foragers and Farmers of the Northern Kayenta Region (2011).


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