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Sunday, 05 May 2013 20:22

Hisatsinom - The Lost Wisdom of Sustainability

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We like to think that our science and technology are superior to any that has gone before, and particularly to  that of those that we have colonised. Our notions of "progress" are deeply rooted in the colonial project such that we tend to overlook the remarkable knowledge systems that we eradicate as we"advance" our civilisation.

In this heavily-illustrated article about these staggeringly beautiful buildings you will find a knowledge of environmental and building technology that will surprise.  This knowledge - possessed by the ancient Indians of the American Southwest - is much more sophisticated than anything we ourselves can conceive when we talk about "sustainability". Our "sophistication" has brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe. Theirs was based upon a deep knowledge and wisdom of the earth, the climate, the seasonal cycles and the potentials of differing building materials and technologies that allowed them to subsist and prosper through a 100 year drought. We are just beginning to uncover the remarkable sophistication of the Hisatsinom (Anasazi)

I start with  images of a number of their pueblo structures - capturing their breathtaking simplicity and awesome drama - before embarking on an in-depth analysis of their environmental and thermal sophistication.

To download the PDF click here 

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