Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology



Advisor 1

Barbara Roth, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Karen Harry

Second Committee Member

Alan Simmons

Graduate Faculty Representative

Christie Batson

Number of Pages



An assemblage of 226 Puebloan pointed/rounded-toe sandals from sites throughout the northern Southwest was examined to answer the following questions: how were these sandals constructed, when where they used, and where were they distributed. The answers to these questions were then used to investigate cultural boundaries, communities of practice, and interaction among the Anasazi. Methods of analysis included a technical analysis, soft X-ray radiography, microscopic fiber identification, spatial analysis, AMS radiocarbon dating, and experimental reconstruction.

Based on these analyses it appears that pointed/rounded-toe sandals were used as early as A.D. 631 to as late as A.D. 1178. Spatially, this sandal type is primary distributed in geographic regions traditionally associated with the Virgin and Kayenta Anasazi, although a small number can also be found in southeastern Utah.

The general similarities of plain weave pointed/rounded-toe sandals indicate that a broad overarching community of practice encompassed the making of this sandal type, and that this community likely had its origins in the Western Basketmaker culture. The introduction of the plain weave pointed/rounded-toe sandal may be associated with the intensification of ceramics at the cost of high investment basketry, including twined sandals.

Subtle differences in the distribution and proportions of sandal attributes also suggest that two smaller sandal making communities of practice, within the larger overarching one, existed in the Western and Eastern areas. The Western community was characterized by a high degree of homogeneity in its plain weave pointed/rounded-toe sandals, while the Eastern community was slightly more heterogeneous and had a larger amount of variance in sandal attributes. These findings have implications for how Anasazi groups interacted with one another and with neighboring populations.


Anasazi; Community; Kayenta Anasazi; Pointed toe; Rounded toe; Sandals; Southwest; Style; Puebloan; Virgin Anasazi


Archaeological Anthropology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit