William Morgan

Ancient Architecture of the Southwest

During more than a thousand years before Europeans arrived in 1540, the native peoples of what is now the southwestern United States and northern Mexico developed an architecture of rich diversity and beauty. Vestiges of thousands of these dwellings and villages still remain, in locations ranging from Colorado in the north to Chihuahua in the south and from Nevada in the west to eastern New Mexico—a geographical area of some 300,000 square miles. This study presents a comprehensive architectural survey of the region. Professionally rendered drawings comparatively analyze 132 sites by means of standardized 100-foot grids with uniform orientations. Reconstructed plans with shadows representing vertical heights suggest the original appearances of many structures that are now in ruins or no longer exist, while concise texts place them in context. Organized in five chronological sections that include 132 professionally rendered site drawings, the book examines architectural evolution from humble pit houses to sophisticated, multistory pueblos. The sections explore concurrent Mogollon, Hohokam, and Anasazi developments, as well as those in the Salado, Sinagua, Virgin River, Kayenta, and other areas, and compare their architecture to contemporary developments in parts of eastern North America and Mesoamerica. The book concludes with a discussion of changes in Native American architecture in response to European influences. Written for a general audience, the book holds appeal for all students of native Southwestern cultures, as well as for everyone interested in origins in architecture. In particular, it should encourage younger Native American architects to value their rich cultural heritage and to respond as creatively to the challenges of the future as their ancestors did to those of the past.
700 printed pages
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