Read The Next Skywatcher: Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series (The Last Skywatcher, Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance Book 1) Online

Authors: Jeff Posey

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The Next Skywatcher: Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series (The Last Skywatcher, Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance Book 1)

BOOK: The Next Skywatcher: Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series (The Last Skywatcher, Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance Book 1)
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The Next Skywatcher

Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series

Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance

“I really enjoyed it. It was well-written.” —Thomas Windes, thirty-seven-year veteran Anasazi archaeologist with the National Park Service.

By Jeff Posey

Copyright

The Next Skywatcher

Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series

Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance

Second Edition

Originally published as
Less Than Nothing: a novel of Anasazi strife

While this edition contains significant revisions, the storyline and characters are the same as the first edition. This version contains an overall richer description of place and setting.

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Second Edition Copyright ©2015-2016 by Jeff Posey

First Edition Copyright ©2012 by Jeff Posey

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Cover photo credit: Ricardo Montaño Castro as wwinn69 via 99Designs. Photo of Chimney Rock National Monument, Colorado, is by the author.

Author’s photo credit: Copyright Jason Myers, used with permission.

Published by Hot Water Press, 
www.HotWaterPress.com
.

Dedication

To Danielle for your faith in me and my stories.

That’s just one of the many miracles you give me.

Table of Contents
Who Were the Anasazi?

A note of introduction from the author

In the shadow of perpetual mystery
about where the Anasazi went and why they abandoned their magnificent structures of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and Mesa Verde, Colorado, is the question of where they came from.

Were they homegrown? Did they rise from poor hunter-gatherers who lived in pit houses, wove intricate baskets of grasses, reeds, and bark, and who farmed on the side? Or were they invaders from other lands?

Archaeologists have struggled for generations to answer this question, and there is no definitive answer, no smoking gun, no eureka moment of finding the perfect proof.

William of Ockham, an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian who lived not long after the demise of the Anasazi (1287–1347), points a finger with his famous razor:
the simplest solution is usually the right solution
. (To be fair, many who preceded Ockham had the same idea. Ptolemy, who lived in the Greek-controlled city of Alexandria in what is now Egypt c. 90–c. 168, wrote, “We consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible.”)

With William of Ockham and Ptolemy in mind, even the most casual glance at the stone structures erected by Central American Toltecs and Maya, cultures characterized by human sacrifice and acts of ultra-violence that collapsed about the time the Anasazi rose from the sands of New Mexico, provide a compelling clue: the Anasazi were invaders from the south.

What kind of invaders? Gentle philosophers who used words and stories to convince the calorie-starved native inhabitants to share their scant food and devote untold hours of labor hauling stone and timber to build the largest structures in North America until the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s?

As my British friends might say, “Not bloody likely.”

Unfortunately (for the poor calorie-starved natives), the archaeological evidence is clearer about this. Anthropologist Christy Turner, a specialist of analyzing human bones for evidence of foul play, spent decades documenting what he came to call “social-control cannibalism.” In the sphere of influence of the Anasazi, and nowhere outside their bounds of space and time, there are dozens of remains attesting to entire families, clans, and small villages—from newborns to the eldest—being butchered like game animals, cooked in pots, and eaten. There is even a smoking gun: desiccated thousand-year-old bowel movements containing hemoglobin protein from human skeletal muscles.

Ockham and Ptolemy strike again: The Anasazi were cannibals.

Why? That’s what Turner addresses with his term “social-control.” If a family or village near you is killed, cooked, and eaten because they fail to pay tribute to the Southern High Priest and his warriors, you would give them what they want. It was, in other words, a form of enslavement. The natives of the region became the subservient class to a Nazi-style elite of foreign occupiers.

Modern descendants of the
Anasazi
as a rule dislike that term, which is derived from a Navajo word that loosely means “ancient enemies.” But that is exactly what the Anasazi were. Very nasty ancient enemies.

It’s not uncommon in the evolution of human culture to find radical responses to egregious behavior. Pueblo people of today practice an extreme form of egalitarian social structure that ensures no one gains too much power. Could that be the echo of a reaction to the hyper-violent Nazi-like class extremism of the Anasazi?

Among all natives indigenous to the area, Chaco Canyon and other Anasazi sites are regarded as having a shadow of evil from long-past horrors. Native guides would lead early explorers toward the sites, but refuse to get close or to enter. Another echo?

This novel is a tale of underground resistance to oppression, the rise of the human spirit to oppose a stratified elitist structure that engages in unimaginable atrocity to remain in power. It’s not likely how it really happened. But it may not be very far from the truth we’ll never know.

An inciting event
in this story is called the Day Star That Faded.

That is a reference to the Crab Nebula Supernova, which appeared bright in the sky the morning of July 4, 1054. It was seen and noted all over the world. The supernova was the third-brightest object in the sky (after the sun and full moon), shining during the day for a month, and then faded but remained visible at night for two years.

I hope you enjoy this story!

—Jeff Posey

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BOOK: The Next Skywatcher: Prequel to The Last Skywatcher Triple Trilogy Series (The Last Skywatcher, Anasazi Historical Thrillers with a Hint of Romance Book 1)
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