Robert Weiner, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Boulder, and SAR’s 2022 Paloheimo fellow.
“It Shows My Way”: Roads, Religion, and Power in the Chaco World
Weiner’s project bridges archaeology, cultural anthropology, cognitive science, and religious studies to investigate the role of monumental roads associated with Chaco Canyon in the U.S. Southwest. His research explores issues of monumentality, power, and religion, asking how roads—and specifically, the practices carried out along them—contributed to Chaco’s unequal, regionally-influential society. Weiner’s field investigations over four years, carried out in collaboration with the Navajo Nation, revealed a distinctive suite of architectural features and artifact deposits along Chacoan roads. Interpreted in light of Diné and Pueblo traditional knowledge and cross-cultural examples of ceremonial roadways, these findings suggest roads were loci of ritual processions, offerings, and races. His research also shows that Chacoan roads demarcated alignments to landforms and astronomical bodies, connected non-contemporaneous sites, and prescribed movement at multiple scales—thereby inscribing enduring traces of Chacoan hierarchy and cosmography on the landscape.
This event is part of the 2022 fall scholar colloquia series. Each year, incoming resident scholars introduce their work to the SAR community through a presentation and Q&A. This year’s talks are hosted online and continue to be free and open to the public. Registration is required.
See the full series here.