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Boma and I wanted to add a bit more to the book review of "The Chaco Meridian: One Thousand Years of Political and Religious Power in the Ancient Southwest" 2nd Edition by Stephen H Lekson.
You might have missed this part of the new edition, if you are like me and usually skip over forwards and introductions. But this may be the best part of the entire very excellent book.
If you are a Lekson fan, as we are, you will know how he often says in his writings and lectures, that the Hopi tell him he "almost has it right...but not quite" ? He's very proud of that, as he should be. So- please read the forward by Phillip Tuwaletstiwa. (p xv) To my mind, it may pull a lot of things together. Phillip Tuwaltstiwa is one of the featured speakers in the "Mystery of Chaco Canyon" DVD. He's a Hopi, and a Cornell educated geodetic scientist who worked for the US government. One of the most cogent arguments that Tuwaletstima makes is that Lekson mentions archaeoastronomy but "does not fully address the role it may have played". A gentle critique, somewhat understated....and very true. More emphasis on the archaeoastronomy of Chaco Canyon - petroglyph calendars, solar even reflective basins and the cardinal direction, solar and lunar alignments of the Great Houses- would help to explain how the rulers of Chaco were able to hold such power over the Ancestral Puebloan/Anasazi people.
If you order this book, make sure you get the Second Edition!
One other thing- what Boma is reading now, (since I am not letting go of Lekson) is the 2nd edition of David Stuart's "Anasazi America". If you missed this on the first go-round, don't miss it now. It draws many comparisons between what went wrong at Chaco, and what is happening now in our modern society. In this 2nd edition, Stuart himself seems a bit surprised at how true most of his predictions have become. Boma really likes this book!
Once again, probably best place to get these books is Amazon, re price and speed of shipping. If you go through Amazon "Smile" ( simple process to sign up) an percentage of the sale, at no cost to you, can go to your favorite qualifying charity. We donate to the Verde Valley Archaeology Society for their brilliant work in archaeoastronomy and public education; another excellent choice would be Archaeology Southwest, for their public education and weekly newsletter.