Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two Things I've Learned From Steve Lekson's Book

1)  Karl Marx and Freiderich Engels were inspired by naive interpretations of ancient societies in the southwest in forming their ideas. They saw the monumental ruins and read the ethnographers and concluded the Anasazi were classless, egalitarian, and cooperative.  It's one of those things that would be awesome if it were true...but it's not true.  Classes formed, elites were elevated, and cooperation was often coerced by the end of a club.  Pueblo Bonito, long thought to be Indian apartments, was a bourgeois mansion for a ruling dynasty. 

2)  Phoenix, Arizona was built on the remains of Hohokam villages.  The Hohokam, who had been farming the area for two thousand years, built a massive canal system to take advantage of the Salt and Gila Rivers for irrigation.  European settlers re-used the canals and started farming the area again.  The city founders settled on Phoenix as the name because, as Wikipedia says, " it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization."

I'm hoping as I make my way through the book, I'll get this list up to "10 Things I've Learned From Steve Lekson's Book."

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