Network analysis of intrasite material networks and ritual practice at Pueblo Bonito

Evan Giomi, Matthew Peeples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Chaco World, centered on the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, in the Southwestern U.S.A., was organized largely around ritual activities, including the use and deposition of a wide range of rare and unusual objects. The great houses of Chaco Canyon were foundational in the development of these ritual activities. Biographical or assemblage-oriented approaches are well suited to studying ritual behavior and have been successfully applied to understanding religious ritual at Chacoan great houses, especially the site of Pueblo Bonito. While formal network analyses (and traditional statistical analyses) are typically used to evaluate relationships between archaeological sites, we argue that network analysis also has great utility in expanding existing biographical approaches to Chacoan ritual. Applying network methods to a network of general artifact classes (like turquoise or pipes) from different room contexts within Pueblo Bonito helps to understand the co-associations of objects grouped together through common use or deposition, likely in the course of ritual activities. These co-associations help expand our knowledge of ritual behavior within Pueblo Bonito, indicating distinctions between architectural spaces based on specialized ritual practices. This analysis also has important implications for Chacoan social organization, supporting existing arguments for a Chacoan house society model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Chaco Canyon
  • Classification
  • Pueblo Bonito
  • Religious ritual
  • Social network analysis
  • Southwestern U.S.A.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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