The Southwest Social Networks Project

The Southwest Social Networks Database:

The Southwest Social Networks (SWSN) database is a relational geodatabase containing information on site locations, features, and material cultural data. This page briefly describes the current size and scope of both the Phase I and Phase II SWSN databases..

Settlement and Architectural Data:

The Phase I SWSN database contains information on a large proportion of all known and documented settlements across the study area with > 12 rooms dating between A.D. 1200 and 1500. These data build on the earlier Coalescent Communities Database housed at Archaeology Southwest.

> 2,800 dated settlements
> 1,100 settlements with public structure types/counts

The Phase II SWSN database contains information on sites with documented or probable Chacoan great houses or circular great kivas dating between A.D. 800 and 1300.

> 400 dated settlements with great houses/great kivas
Detailed public architectural feature descriptions/counts

Ceramic and Lithic Material Frequency Data:

Both the Phase I and Phase II databases include systematic ceramic type and ware counts** for a large number of settlements in the study area. The Phase II database includes counts of several easily identifiable lithic material sources associated with Chacoan settlements.

Phase I:
> 580 settlements with ceramic frequency data
> 4.7 million typed ceramics

Phase II:
> 340 settlements with ceramic frequency data
> 1.8 million typed ceramics
> 90 settlements with lithic material frequency data
> 150,000 lithic objects visually identified to source

Obsidian Source Determinations:


Obsidian, or volcanic glass, is a lithic material frequently used for tool production across the Southwest. Obsidian is a highly valued material and often transported across long distances. Obsidian can be chemically sourced to specific geographic areas using geochemical methods such as X-Ray Florescence and Neutron Activation Analysis. The Phase I database includes counts of obsidian objects sourced (using various methods) to specific geographic areas for a number of sites. Many of these samples were newly analyzed for the SWSN project. Similar data are currently being compiled/analyzed for the Phase II SWSN database.

Phase I:
> 150 settlements with obsidian source determinations
> 6,000 XRF or NAA sourced obsidian objects


** Ceramic wares in the U.S. Southwest are broad groupings of ceramics defined based shared technology and design, typically associated with a defined geographic area of production. Wares usually include finer "type" categories with shorter production spans. Click to dowload an Excel spreadsheet listing all types and wares included in the Phase I SWSN database along with estimated production date ranges (Excel or PDF).