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Living the Ancient Southwest


Edited by David Grant Noble

How did Southwestern peoples make a living in the vast arid reaches of the Great Basin? When and why did violence erupt in the Mesa Verde region? Who were the Fremont people? How do some Hopis view Chaco Canyon? These are just a few of the topics addressed in Living the Ancient Southwest.

In this illustrated anthology, readers will discover chapters written over the past several decades by anthropologist-writers. They speak about the beauty and originality of Mimbres pottery, the rock paintings in Canyon de Chelly, the history of the Wupatki Navajos, O’odham songs describing ancient trails to the Pacific Coast, and other subjects relating to the deep indigenous history and culture of the American Southwest.

*NEW*: Hear the Santa Fe Radio Cafe Interview with David Grant Noble, which aired on January 22, 2015.

2014. 200 pp., color plates, figures, index, 8.5 x 11

Contributors: Karen R. Adams, Angelyn Bass, Ellen Brennan, J. Andrew Darling, Christian E. Downum, Suzanne K. Fish, Paul R. Fish, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Michelle Hegmon, James P. Holmlund, Joel C. Janetski, Kristin A. Kuckelman, Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma, Stephen H. Lekson, Barnaby V. Lewis, David Grant Noble, Alexa Roberts, Polly Schaafsma, Irene Silentman, Steven R. Simms, James E. Snead, R. Gwinn Vivian

Awards: 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award Winner

Download an excerpt.

“Over the past three and a half decades, David Grant Noble’s writing, photography, and edited volumes have helped thousands of readers share the insights of Native peoples and the excitement of archaeological research. Here, David has selected eighteen essays by leading scholars that—from a variety of perspectives—enrich our understandings of ‘Living the Ancient Southwest.’ The book is also a tribute to SAR Press’s (and David’s) success in creating accurate, high-quality writing about Southwestern archaeology and history for an ever-widening general audience.”
—Bill Lipe, Washington State University

“This impressive and eclectic collection of articles edited by the eminent David Grant Noble spans the entire realm of traditional southwest lifestyles from food and shelter to birth through death. The chapters, written in highly-readable prose, focus on important elements of southwest society from a diversity of unique perspectives including the voices of descendent American Indian populations. This entertaining and informative volume is easily accessible to a popular audience.”
—Deborah Gangloff, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

“The contributors to this anthology include some of the most prominent archaeologists, students of rock art, and Native Americans…. The volume is amply illustrated…. Written for a general audience, this volume is a valuable and entertaining addition to Southwestern prehistory.”
—American Archaeology, vol. 19, no. 2, Summer 2015


David Grant Noble

  1. Making a Living in the Desert West
    Steven R. Simms
  2. Pueblo Farmers of the Chacoan World
    R. Gwinn Vivian
  3. Through the Looking Glass: The Environment of the Ancient Mesa Verdeans
    Karen R. Adams
  4. Ancient Violence in the Mesa Verde Region
    Kristin A. Kuckelman
  5. Carved in the Cliffs: The Cavate Pueblos of Frijoles Canyon
    Angelyn Bass
  6. Architecture: The Central Matter of Chaco Canyon
    Stephen H. Lekson
  7. Wupatki Pueblo: Red House in Black Sand
    Christian E. Downum, Ellen Brennan, and James P. Holmlund
  8. Zuni Religion and Philosophy
    Edmund J. Ladd
  9. Yupköyvi: The Hopi Story of Chaco Canyon
    Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma
  10. Canyon de Chelly: A Navajo View
    An Interview of Mrs. Mae Thompson by Irene Silentman
  11. The Wupatki Navajos: An Historical Sketch
    Alexa Roberts
  12. The Enigmatic Fremont
    Joel C. Janetski
  13. The Hohokam Millennium
    Suzanne K. Fish and Paul R. Fish
  14. Pottery of the Sierra Sin Agua
    Kelley Hays-Gilpin and Christian E. Downum
  15. Expressions in Black and White
    Michelle Hegmon
  16. Ancestral Pueblo Rock Art in Tsegi Canyon and Canyon de Chelly:A View behind the Image
    Polly Schaafsma
  17. Songscapes and Calendar Sticks
    J. Andrew Darling and Barnaby V. Lewis
  18. Ancient Trails of the Pajarito Plateau
    James E. Snead

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.