I am sure the peasants thought so. However I suspect that blam is right. A lot of religious activity went on in at Chaco. And a lot of astronomy.
How much would you give to have some one tell you the best time to plant (short growing season) and pray for rain? A tenth of your crop? Likely there was also a bit of barter as well and protection from other groups.
There was something out there that scared the tail feathers off of them. Real or imaginary that was one scared bunch at the end.
Yeah, that might provide me some motivation. But it would be interesting to know if the townfolk produced something. Homo economus or homo tyrannus.