ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on the Basketmaker III period of the Ancestral Puebloan culture commonly known as the Anasazi, which means ‘ancient stranger’ or ‘ancient enemy’ in the Navajo language, or as preferred by the Hopi; "Hisatsinom" for "The Ones Who Came Before." I use the terms Anasazi and Ancestral Puebloan interchangeably in this study. My particular focus concentrates on a Basketmaker III settlement (42Sa2112 – Hidden Village) in Montezuma Canyon in southeastern Utah. My thesis presents data and an interpretive hypothesis that village formation and complex social organization emerged earlier than most standard texts (Plog 1997) assume. Analysis of the data I use shows that the Basketmaker III peoples lived in larger, more complex, and more permanent social groups in southeastern Utah than generally thought. Data from other researchers are presented for the existence of substantial Basketmaker III villages in the Four Corners region that consisted of multi-component habitation structures, storage facilities, farming terraces, and great pit houses. By focusing on Basketmaker III village descriptions and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Locational data I show how these settlement patterns support a cultural-ecological framework for settled village life. Furthermore I use the (GIS) site data developed for Hidden Village (42Sa2112), Montezuma Canyon, Utah to illustrate a site plan that may reflect village planning particular to Basketmaker III social organization, which may be the antecedent to later Puebloan social structure. Spatial analysis provides insight to problems dealing with site distributions (Hodder and Orton 1976). GIS and spatial analysis presentopportunities for large-scale regional analyses and predictive modeling of settlement patterns and land use. Previous research and a GIS applications program (ESRI ArcView) are used to show the development of settlement patterns for the Ancestral Puebloan peoples across the Four Corners region of the Southwest. The potential of GIS as a tool for the organization and analysis of spatial data presents research opportunities for the development of new models and methods. GIS applications allow archaeologists to deal with large amounts of spatial data and develop models and methods for analysis. Using the software applications, I created a GIS map of Hidden Village to demonstrate a method for site mapping that examines the clustering of structures and features within a site. This method can also be used to map sites within a geographic region (Montezuma Canyon) and provides applied methods to test for the organization of villages and communities within a given geography.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Basketmaker III, Anasazi, GIS, Montezuma Canyon



Included in

Anthropology Commons