Nice article, thoughtful. I will quibble on how the Ancestorian Peoples are remembered or thought of. You may be in some sort of small echo chamber where people are latching on to the occasional cannibalism and discounting everything else. (Or suffering the immediate impact of a certain book.) This is a narrow view to take and definitely not mainstream nor the defining features of the culture. Nor how people remember them. Chaco canyon is the main meme for this culture.
As to cannibalism, could be ritual, could be desperate need for protein on the colorado platue that was ravaged by droughts that lasted decades or centuries.
Still I found your article thoughtful and interesting. I wonder if future archaeologists will wonder at the apparent widespread worship of a tortured corpses..as they find crucifix after crucifix.. Will they wonder what kind of people performed torture and then worshipped the dead corpse? Clearly it was a death cult… You see context makes all the difference.lol.