What is a Community?

Archaeologists use the term community to refer to people who belonged to different households but lived close enough to one another to interact, face-to-face, on a regular basis. They also would have shared access to local resources, such as water, land, and wild plants and animals.

How do archaeologists recognize ancient communities on the landscape? They look for the remains of villages or smaller sites that are within easy walking distance of one another and that appear to have been occupied at the same time.

Some form of public architecture, such as a great kiva, is often found centrally located within a community. These public places would have facilitated periodic gatherings of community members.