Dave Wilcox (04 August 1997)

1. "1st great houses appear" should go in the "Late PI-Early PII" slot. If Tom means the oldest part of Pueblo Bonito, WITHOUT THE WING WALLS, is the first great house, my comment is a quibble. My interpretation of the new tree-ring dates that Tom and Dabney Ford have published is that the wing walls were added about A. D. 890, and that it was THEN that the building became a "great house," and, hence, should be noted in the Late PI-Early PII slot.

2. Chaco-McElmo Black-on-white pottery has many designs of Flagstaff B/w style, and some even of Tusayan B/w style (fact). By the rules of ceramic cross-dating, that means that it dates, in part, in the period of A. D. 1140-1225. The fact that McElmo B/w also best dates in the A. D. 1150-1200 period further underlines this point. Tom's claim that Chaco-McElmo B/w dates ONLY BEFORE A. D. 1150 is not a fact; it is his interpretation based on an over-reliance on a few tree-ring dates.

3. The idea of "Major depoplation" in the A.D. 1140-1200 period is a bit misleading. First, there is the same dating issue mentioned above. Second, there is the fact that at the edge of the junipher woodlands in both the Flagstaff area and the Hay Hollow Valley, there was a population PEAK in this period! The facile assumption that in the San Juan Basin there was a "severe drought" and that (therefore) there was a major depopulation is a contentious issue badly in need of testing with data.

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