Dr. John Kantner, University of North Florida

Lobo Mesa Archaeological Project


GSU students working on site in Blue J community

The Lobo Mesa Archaeological Project (LMAP) was initiated in 1996 during Dr. Kantner's doctoral work at UC Santa Barbara. The goal of this research is to reconstruct what life was like before and during the Chaco era (roughly AD 850–1150) in two distinct parts of the Puebloan world—the southern edge of the San Juan Basin, against Lobo Mesa; and in the Red Mesa Valley, between Lobo Mesa and the Zuni Mountains—each of which is in a different ecological setting.

Two specific questions guide LMAP research: First, what role did villages across the Puebloan world play in the emergence of an influential pilgrimage center at Chaco Canyon, and, in turn, how did Chaco's emergence impact community dynamics inside these villages; and, second, what can this case study tell us about the respective roles of cooperative and competitive human behavior in culture change and the emergence of complex sociopolitical life. This project has been funded by the National Science Foundation, including through a five-year CAREER grant awarded to Dr. Kantner, and has involved over 100 undergraduate and graduate students, mostly from Georgia State University. This research is continuing at the University of North Florida.

LMAP research should be completed within the next two years. In the meantime, preliminary details on the research are available through the links on the left.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0715996. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.