The central Mesa Verde and the northern Rio Grande regions housed two of the densest populations of prehispanic Pueblo peoples in the North American Southwest. We plot incidence of violent trauma on human bone through time in each region. Such violence peaked in the mid-A.D. 1100s in the central Mesa Verde, and in general was higher through time there than in the northern Rio Grande region. In the central Mesa Verde, but not in the northern Rio Grande, there is a tendency for violence to be greater in periods of low potential maize produccción per capita and high variance in maize produccción, though these structural tendencies were on occasion overridden by historical factors such as the expansion and demise of the Chacoan polity and the regional depopulation. Violence generally declined through time in the northern Rio Grande until the arrival of the Spanish, even as populations increased. We propose that this decline was due to the combination of increased social span of polities, the importance of inter-Pueblo sodalities, the nature of religious practice, “gentle commerce,“ and increased adherence to a set of nonviolent norms.