Wetherill discovered several exceptionally preserved sites where people had conducted the tasks of daily life, and even found items made from perishable materials that had survived close to 2,000 years. This photo shows a remnant of a hand woven basket, showing the beginning of coil spiral. Baskets had many functions including containers for gathering plants and seeds, storage, and even cooking. This piece exhibits a "two-rod and bundle" foundation and coils sewn with a non-interlocking stitch. The bundle rods are composed of yucca fibers around slender twigs that have large pithy centers. Sewing elements are strips of yucca leaves split once with uniform width of about 3 mm. This artifact is typical of items that date to the late Basket Maker period of Ancestral Puebloan occupations, roughly AD 1 to 700. As the name implies, the Basket Makers were masters of constructing baskets and weaving other goods from plant fibers. During this period, people were still leading mobile lifestyles and light basketry was used more for daily tasks than heavy, fragile pottery that would dominate in later times.
Last updated: February 24, 2015