Paint Technology in the Chaco World

Paint is one of the oldest known human technologies, yet it remains underrepresented in archaeological discourse. Making paint requires intimate knowledge of geologic sources, processing requirements, and application techniques. In the contemporary Pueblo World, paint is an especially important element of performance regalia, communicating important knowledge, directional symbolism, and more. In this talk, Kelsey E. Hanson will contextualize paint as a technology and illustrate its significance in performances in the Chaco World of the northern U.S. Southwest. Excavations at Chaco great houses have yielded enormous amounts of archaeological pigment, paint, paint production tools, and painted media. In this talk, Ms. Hanson will provide some preliminary insights from the study of these objects in museum collections. By looking at trends in paint production and depositional practices through time, Ms. Hanson will offer some initial thoughts on sociopolitical change in the rise and fall of the Chaco World.