Matching Items (2)

155203-Thumbnail Image.png

Social boundaries and the organization of plain ware production and exchange in 14th century central Arizona

Description

In the proposed project I simultaneously and reflexively identify and characterize social boundaries in the archaeological record by examining material culture distributions in novel ways to re-assess the scale of

In the proposed project I simultaneously and reflexively identify and characterize social boundaries in the archaeological record by examining material culture distributions in novel ways to re-assess the scale of the Verde Confederacy, a proposed regional-scale multi-settlement alliance in Late Prehistoric central Arizona. I focus on boundaries between entities larger than villages, but smaller than regions or culture areas. I propose three innovations to better accomplish these goals. First, unlike previous conceptualizations of social boundaries as monolithic, I argue that they are better conceived of as a heterogeneous, multi-faceted phenomenon. Second, I investigate social boundaries by examining multiple lines of evidence. Previous researchers have tended to focus on one category of data at the expense of others. Third, I associate boundaries with relational and categorical collective social identification. An alliance requires regular collective actions including communication and coordinated action between large groups. These actions are most likely to emerge among groups integrated by relational networks who share a high degree of categorical homogeneity.

I propose a plain ware ceramic provenance model. Seven reference groups represent ceramic production in specific geographic areas. The reference groups are mineralogically and geochemically distinct, and can be visually differentiated. With this provenance model, I reconstruct the organization of utilitarian ceramic production and exchange, and argue that plain ware distribution is a proxy for networks of socially proximate friends and relatives. The plain ware data are compared to boundaries derived from settlement patterns, rock art, public architecture, and painted ceramics to characterize the overall nature of social boundaries in Late Prehistoric central Arizona.

Three regions in the study area are strongly integrated by relational networks and categorical commonality. If alliances existed in Late Prehistoric central Arizona, they were most likely to emerge at this scale. A fourth region is identified as a frontier zone, where internal connections and shared identities were weaker. As seen among the League of the Iroquois, smaller integrated entities do not preclude the existence of larger social constructs, and I conclude this study with proposals to further test the Verde Confederacy model by searching for integration at a broader spatial scale.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

150258-Thumbnail Image.png

Identity and social transformation in the prehispanic Cibola world: A.D. 1150-1325

Description

This dissertation explores the interrelationships between periods of rapid social change and regional-scale social identities. Using archaeological data from the Cibola region of the U.S. Southwest, I examine changes in

This dissertation explores the interrelationships between periods of rapid social change and regional-scale social identities. Using archaeological data from the Cibola region of the U.S. Southwest, I examine changes in the nature and scale of social identification across a period of demographic and social upheaval (A.D. 1150-1325) marked by a shift from dispersed hamlets, to clustered villages, and eventually, to a small number of large nucleated towns. This transformation in settlement organization entailed a fundamental reconfiguration of the relationships among households and communities across an area of over 45,000 km2. This study draws on contemporary social theory focused on political mobilization and social movements to investigate how changes in the process of social identification can influence the potential for such widespread and rapid transformations. This framework suggests that social identification can be divided into two primary modes; relational identification based on networks of interaction among individuals, and categorical identification based on active expressions of affiliation with social roles or groups to which one can belong. Importantly, trajectories of social transformations are closely tied to the interrelationships between these two modes of identification. This study has three components: Social transformation, indicated by rapid demographic and settlement transitions, is documented through settlement studies drawing on a massive, regional database including over 1,500 sites. Relational identities, indicated by networks of interaction, are documented through ceramic compositional analyses of over 2,100 potsherds, technological characterizations of over 2,000 utilitarian ceramic vessels, and the distributions of different types of domestic architectural features across the region. Categorical identities are documented through stylistic comparisons of a large sample of polychrome ceramic vessels and characterizations of public architectural spaces. Contrary to assumptions underlying traditional approaches to social identity in archaeology, this study demonstrates that relational and categorical identities are not necessarily coterminous. Importantly, however, the strongest patterns of relational connections prior to the period of social transformation in the Cibola region largely predict the scale and structure of changes associated with that transformation. This suggests that the social transformation in the Cibola region, despite occurring in a non-state setting, was governed by similar dynamics to well-documented contemporary examples.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011