PR2-Essay 1

The reading and the lecture are both about "Great houses." The author of the article feels that three possible theories could explain the main purpose of these houses. The lecturer disputes the claims made in the article. His position is that theories are not convincing at all.


According to the reading, the first theory suggests that "great houses" were residential. The article mentions that Chaco houses similar to the well-known apartment buildings at Taos. This specific argument is challenged by the lecturer. He claims that from the outside, buildings may look like residential houses. But if we look inside these houses, there is a lot of evidence that buildings were not residential. If in these buildings lived hundreds of people, there would be hundreds of fireplaces, but even in the largest house, the number of fireplaces is ten.


Secondly, the author suggests that houses may be used to store food supplies. The most popular crop of Chaco people is grain maize. In the article, it is said that the size of the great houses makes them suitable for grain maize. The lecturer, however, asserts that excavation showed that there is no evidence of the grain maize storage. Archeologists did not find any containers or signs of this type of crop.


Finally, the author posits that these buildings may be used as ceremonial centers. The author contends that excavation showed a large number of broken pots. And it may be a sign of the people gathering for special ceremonies. In contrast, the lecturer's stance is this theory does not have any support arguments. She notes that this excavation finds out not only broken pots but also construction things like bricks. These things might be trash that remains after construct workers.