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By Baker H. Morrow, V. B. Price, Robert C. Heyder

Anasazi structure and American layout is a trip via Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde with prime southwestern archaeologists, historians, architects, panorama architects, artists, and concrete planners as publications. In 16 chapters, the volume's twenty-two essayists establish Anasazi construction and cultural positive aspects on the topic of layout and placement making plans, cosmography, mythology, and ecology, then expertly stability their observations of previous architectural and cultural achievements with feedback and proposals for layout practices within the present.Among the individuals are Santa Clara Pueblo architectural theorist Rina Swentzell; architects Tony Anella and Stephen Schreiber; historian Richard Ellis; artwork historian J. J. Brody; archaeologists Stephen Lekson, David Stuart, Michael Marshall, John Stein, and Dabney Ford; city planners Theodore Jojola, Judith Suiter, Stephen Dent, Barbara Coleman, and Paul Lusk; and artist Anna Sofaer, founding father of the Solstice venture.

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But in the Anasazi case, there is a gross disjunction between the objects and their verbal rhetorical surroundings. Rhetoric now is imposed upon the objects many hundreds of years after the facts of their creation and obsolescence, and usually by people of an alien society. Analysis of this art in the context of its verbal rhetoric, no matter how it is done or who does it, cannot tell us anything about the relationships between expressive form and the social and aesthetic ideals of its Anasazi creators.

So it was, too, that Private Josiah Rice, who saw Pecos on his way to Canyon de Chelly in 1851, described the ruins of the "Aztec church" at Pecos. Page 19 The 1870s ushered in the age of the great surveys, exploring expeditions funded by the federal government and led by such individuals as Clarence King, Richard Wheeler, Ferdinand Hayden, and John Wesley Powell. Timothy O'Sullivan, a veteran Civil War photographer, worked for both King and Wheeler. During his service with the Wheeler survey he produced the first real photographic record of Anasazi ruins, and the photographic record had a far greater impact on the American mind than did the paintings of previous expeditions.

Is it possible to approach an Anasazi view of Anasazi art, and if it is, how can we do so? It seems to me that there is only one way. Artistic forms are embedded within layers of history and surrounded by layers of rhetoric, and we must peel away and evaluate all of those layers until the bare, abstract structure of the work is exposed. Abstract qualities are the only parts of the art complex that remain substantially intact through time, across space, and despite overlays of perhaps unrelated cultural and social values and ideologies, which are all that any rhetoric can ever express.

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