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Space Syntax Analysis at the Chacoan Outlier of Guadalupe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Ruth M. Van Dyke*
Department of Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92834


Space syntax analysis is a popular method for investigating social processes by quantifying the relationships among architectural spaces. Identification of spatial patterns is straightforward, but interpretation is less so. In this study, segregated spatial patterns were assumed to indicate the presence of social inequality. A space syntax analysis was conducted for Guadalupe Ruin, an excavated, outlying Chacoan great house with three well-dated construction episodes. The study investigated great house function and social context. Results seemed contradictory until room function and pueblo layout were incorporated into the interpretation. The great house can be understood as an group of separate but equal household units accessible primarily through the roof and plaza. Analyzed as a discrete entity, Guadalupe Ruin appears to have been a domestic building rather than an administrative or ceremonial facility. However, topographic restrictions and other differences with the surrounding community of small sites need to be explored through an expanded study at the community level. Comparison of the Guadalupe study with other great house space syntax analyses supports the recognition that Chacoan great houses varied considerably across time and space.



El análisis delsintaxis del espacio es un método de modapara investigarprocesos sociales. El análisis cuantifica la organizatión espacial y arquitectónica. La identificatián de diseños espaciales es fácil, pero la interpretation es difícil. En este estudio, los diseños espaciales segregados fueron asumidos para indicar un contexto social de desigualdad. Un análisis del sintaxis del espacio fue conducido para la gran casa de Guadalupe. Esta ruina excavada es periférica de Chaco Canyon y manifesto tres episodios de la constructión. El estudio investigó la función y el contexto social de la gran casa. Los resultados se parecían contradictorios hasta que la función y la organización del edificiofueron incorporadas en la interpretación. La gran casa representa uno grupo de unidades domésticas separades pero iguales. Por lo general, las entradas son de la azotea o de la plaza. A solas, la ruina de Guadalupe aparece haber sido una casa doméstica más bien que un edificio administrativo o ceremonial. Sin embargo, las restricciones topográficas y otras diferencias con la comunidad circundante necesitan ser exploradas con un estudio ampliado. La comparación del estudio de Guadalupe con otros análisis del sintaxis del espacio indica que las gran casas de Chaco variaron considerablemente a través de tiempo y de espacio.

Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1999

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