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The Archaeology of Regional Interaction

The Archaeology of Regional Interaction: Religion, Warfare, and Exchange across the American Southwest and Beyond

edited by Michelle Hegmon
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 486
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  • Book Info
    The Archaeology of Regional Interaction
    Book Description:

    How and why did styles, materials, conflicts, and religious ideas spread across prehistoric landscapes? The Archaeology of Regional Interaction investigates these questions, using the rich resource of the American Southwest and covering periods from the Folsom to the nineteenth century. Editor Michelle Hegmon has compiled superbly researched essays into a comprehensive examination of regional interaction that has proved itself a pivotal archaeological text. The Archaeology of Regional Interaction surpasses most regional studies, which only focus on settlement patterns or exchange, and considers other forms of interaction, such as intermarriage and the spread of religious practices. Contributors focus especially on understanding the social processes that underlie archaeological evidence of interaction. The essays in this volume examine what regional systems involve, in terms of political and economic relations, and how they can be identified. One essay by Steven LeBlanc provides a sweeping analysis of conflict, a form of regional interaction that has received relatively little attention in the Southwest until recently. A series of chapters devoted to expanding the coverage beyond the borders of the traditional Southwest examines the surrounding areas, including Nevada and Utah, northern Mexico, and the Plains.The volume also provides a unique treatment of religion - including manifestations such as Flower World Iconography, Medicine Societies, and ceremonial textiles - as a form of regional interrelation.

    eISBN: 978-1-60732-122-4
    Subjects: Sociology, Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Linda S. Cordell

    Southwestern archaeologists participate in a variety of professional meetings that address particular subregional cultures, such as the Mogollon and Anasazi. They also convene conferences or symposia, in the context of national professional meetings or as multiple-day advanced seminars, that are tightly focused on particular thematic issues generally not of pan-southwestern scope. There is also the Pecos Conference, first convened in August 1927 by Alfred V. Kidder at his field camp at Pecos Pueblo. The Pecos Conference, which today meets in various locations, is pan-southwestern in scope, but it has become a gathering at which colleagues present brief reports of their...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  6. 1 Changing Perceptions of Regional Interaction in the Prehistoric Southwest
    (pp. 1-22)
    Michelle Hegmon, Kelley Hays-Gilpin, Randall H. McGuire, Alison E. Rautman and Sarah H. Schlanger

    Research at a regional scale and interest in regional interaction have a long, though uneven, history in the study of southwestern prehistory. Early exploratory work mostly investigated particular sites and localities, but it also raised questions about large-scale interaction, such as Fewkes’s (1896) recognition of the distribution of Pacific shell on sites in northeast Arizona and speculations regarding Mesoamerican influence in (or intrusion into) Chaco Canyon (see summary in Schroeder 1979). This work set the stage for regional and larger-scale syntheses in the 1920s and 1930s (e.g., Gladwin and Gladwin 1934; Kidder 1962). Although the perspectives provided by this work...

  7. Part 1: Regional Issues and Regional Systems

    • 2 What Is a Regional System? Issues of Scale and Interaction in the Prehistoric Southwest
      (pp. 25-40)
      Jill E. Neitzel

      Southwestern archaeologists need to reevaluate the utility of the regional system concept. When first proposed in 1979, this concept marked a paradigm shift for interpreting the remains of past societies, and in the intervening years it has become part of the everyday vocabulary of southwestern archaeologists. After almost two decades of application to a variety of cases, however, some difficulties are emerging in the concept’s usage. In considering these difficulties I begin with some historical background, identify some problems related to the issues of scale and interaction, and conclude by illustrating the research potential of a technique of network analysis...

    • 3 Regional Interaction and Warfare in the Late Prehistoric Southwest
      (pp. 41-70)
      Steven A. LeBlanc

      The impact of warfare on the sociopolitical landscape of the Southwest has been largely unrecognized. This oversight applies particularly to the late prehistoric period, a time when—as is becoming increasingly clear—we know warfare was playing a major role in community formation and interaction. Because the act or process of warfare itself has been underrecognized in the Southwest, the implications of its existence have been considered even less; as a consequence, much of what follows is relatively uncharted water. The goal here is to look at regional social interaction in the Southwest in a framework that includes warfare. At...

    • 4 Scale, Interaction, and Regional Analysis in Late Pueblo Prehistory
      (pp. 71-98)
      Andrew I. Duff

      Examination of regional-scale processes in prehistory requires explicit consideration of what we mean by regions. Definitions vary with research interests and the times, but the boundaries of regions are usually defined by topography and the distribution of a number of material culture traits. As such, regions are essentially the scale within which archaeologists believe social interactions were concentrated. A closer look at regions, however, at least as they are defined archaeologically, suggests that they are less internally coherent than we might expect. The question then becomes not only whether we can identify regions but whether the regions we identify are...

    • 5 Regional Interactions and Regional Systems in the Protohistoric Rio Grande
      (pp. 99-118)
      Winifred Creamer

      In parts of the Southwest, groups of sites having similarities in material culture on a broad geographic scale have been described as regional systems. More specifically, such regional systems are thought to involve a variety of interactions, including regular contact between clusters of interacting villages (see Neitzel, Chapter 2, this volume). This chapter explores the links among villages in the northern Rio Grande during the Protohistoric period, focusing on ceramic production, the exchange of ceramics and lithics, settlement patterns, and the distribution of languages. Each of these processes connected a number of villages, and no locality appears to have been...

    • 6 Regional Approaches with Unbounded Systems: THE RECORD OF FOLSOM LAND USE IN NEW MEXICO AND WEST TEXAS
      (pp. 119-148)
      Daniel S. Amick

      Perhaps more than any other topic in archaeology, Paleoindian studies have been limited by the tendency for myopic focus on individual sites. Although important exceptions are found in James Judge’s (1973) research in the Albuquerque Basin and James Hester’s (1975) work on the Llano Estacado, regional studies of Paleoindian occupation in the Southwest are rare. This failure is debilitating because economic organization and ecological adaptation are defined at the regional scale among hunter-gatherers (Binford 1964, 1980; Gamble 1986; Jochim 1976, 1981; Kelly 1995).

      Two factors seem responsible for the lack of regional approaches in Paleoindian archaeology. First, Paleoindian artifacts and...

  8. Part 2: Interregional Economies and Exchange

    • 7 Theorizing the Political Economy of Southwestern Exchange
      (pp. 151-166)
      Dean J. Saitta

      Recent years have seen a renewal of interest in the phenomenon of precontact exchange in the Americas. This is indicated by Schortman and Urban’s (1992b) edited volume on power, resources, and interregional interaction and the two-volume set on North and Middle American exchange systems edited by Baugh and Ericson (Baugh and Ericson 1994; Ericson and Baugh 1992). An examination of these volumes reveals a broad consensus on three points about the study of exchange in the Americas.

      First, exchange is driven as much by social as by economic necessity. Exchange not only helps to buffer resource stress through various kinds...

    • 8 Networks of Shell Ornament Exchange: A Critical Assessment of Prestige Economies in the North American Southwest
      (pp. 167-188)
      Ronna J. Bradley

      Both large and small quantities of shell and other exotic materials moved great distances across the Southwest. The Hohokam have long been known as the “shell suppliers” of the Southwest (Brand 1938; Haury 1976), yet a single site in northern Mexico contained many more shell ornaments than have been found in the Hohokam area and the rest of the Southwest combined. This site—Paquimé, or Casas Grandes—lies along the Rio Casas Grandes approximately 150 kilometers (km) south of the U.S.-Mexico border in Chihuahua (Map 8.1). Almost 4 million marine shell ornaments were stored in large multistory room blocks along...

    • 9 Exchanges, Assumptions, and Mortuary Goods in Pre-Paquimé Chihuahua, Mexico
      (pp. 189-208)
      John E. Douglas

      Archaeologists may fantasize about being able to directly observe the prehistoric movement of goods, but reality is not so kind. All interpretations of prehistoric exchange—from the “prehistoric trade route” maps of an earlier generation to World Systems Theory—are laden with assumptions. Early researchers focused on the quantity and the direction of movements of easily recognized long-distance goods, making what seem now to be simplistic assumptions about the causes and mechanisms that underlay those movements (e.g., Brand 1938). Today, archaeologists are focused on the causes of exchange: What purposes did exchanges serve, or more pointedly, whose needs did they...

    • 10 Pottery, Food, Hides, and Women: Labor, Production, and Exchange Across the Protohistoric Plains-Pueblo Frontier
      (pp. 209-232)
      Judith A. Habicht-Mauche

      During the 1970s and 1980s, archaeologists began to pay increasing attention to the mounting evidence for long-distance exchange among the peoples of the American Southwest and adjoining areas. This interest was motivated by broadly held theoretical assumptions regarding the role of exchange in constituting and maintaining systems of regional and interregional interaction and the relationship of exchange to the emergence of social complexity (Sabloff and Lamberg-Karlovsky 1975). One such system of interregional interaction that received considerable attention was the historically documented trade between Pueblo farmers of the Rio Grande and bison-hunting nomads of the Southern Plains. Archaeological evidence suggests that...

  9. Part 3: Beyond the Borders of the Traditional Southwest

    • 11 Scale, Innovation, and Change in the Desert West: A Macroregional Approach
      (pp. 235-256)
      Steadman Upham

      Mesoamerican-southwestern interaction has been a focus of southwestern archaeology ever since A. V. Kidder first acknowledged its possibility. Links between various southwestern and Mesoamerican cultures have been sought by archaeologists, and ties between different groups have been hypothesized. Results of this effort have been mixed, largely because of the paucity of recovered trade goods and the uncertain nature of the connections thus far described. Most archaeologists believe such interaction occurred, but perceptions differ dramatically about the intensity, duration, and magnitude of the contact, communication, and interchange that took place. Given this circumstance, continuing research on Mesoamerican-southwestern interaction is unlikely to...

    • 12 Life at the Edge: Pueblo Settlements in Southern Nevada
      (pp. 257-274)
      Margaret M. Lyneis

      Prehistoric Pueblo settlements in southern Nevada form the westernmost tip of the traditional Southwest. On its western edge the boundary of the Southwest is sharper than on most of its periphery. In southern Nevada traditional southwestern horticulture encountered the aridity of the Mojave Desert. Here the margins of the Muddy and Virgin Rivers (Map 12.1) supported Pueblo settlements; farther west, where the desert lacks permanent streams and dependable summer rainfall, was the domain of mobile foragers.

      In this chapter I discuss the areas on each side of the border in southern Nevada. The record of Pueblo settlement probably begins in...

    • 13 Fremont Farmers: The Search for Context
      (pp. 275-294)
      Richard K. Talbot

      The theme of traditional Southwest borders and what lies beyond them underscores problems with conceptualizations of cultural boundedness that have dogged archaeologists for decades. Despite recent emphasis on interrelated systems and spheres of interaction, in practice our research interests more often constrain us to focus on particular archaeological “traditions” defined by geography, differences in material culture, subsistence, and settlement strategies. In text and in teaching, borders are drawn that isolate traditions and encourage their study as bounded, independent entities. Nowhere is this more evident than in Fremont research. Early discussions emphasized the strong similarities of the “Puebloan” Fremont to other...

    • 14 Prehistoric Movements of Northern Uto-Aztecan Peoples Along the Northwestern Edge of the Southwest: Impact on Southwestern Populations
      (pp. 295-316)
      Mark Q. Sutton

      There are at least three well-known archaeological truths regarding the northern San Juan region of the American Southwest between A.D. 750 and the present: (1) At some time and from somewhere the Hopi language must have moved into northern Arizona, since that language is classified within Northern Uto–Aztecan and is related to the languages spoken by hunter-gatherers in California and the Great Basin; (2) just before ca. A.D. 1300 much of the northern San Juan region was abandoned¹ by Puebloan groups; and (3) after ca. A.D. 1300 the Southern Paiute and Ute (and Navajo) occupied that region. Whereas the...

    • 15 Aggregation, Warfare, and the Spread of the Mesoamerican Tradition
      (pp. 317-338)
      Ben A. Nelson

      This chapter considers some external circumstances, actions, and processes that may have surrounded the formation of the earliest large polities in the Southwest. In some senses the local polities that formed in the Hohokam, Pueblo, and Mogollon areas around A.D. 775–1150 can be seen as the final and most distant reverberations of phenomena occurring in northwest Mexico, (i.e., Zacatecas and Durango) around A.D. 500–900. There, in the Malpaso and Chalchihuites regions, large new ceremonial centers arose in the former territories of mobile bands. Hundreds if not thousands of skeletons—apparent trophies of war—were prominently displayed in each...

  10. Part 4: The Spread of Religious Systems

    • 16 Katsinas and Kiva Abandonment at Homol’ovi: A Deposit-Oriented Perspective on Religion in Southwest Prehistory
      (pp. 341-360)
      William H. Walker, Vincent M. LaMotta and E. Charles Adams

      Cultural deposits in prehistoric sites give archaeologists a rich, albeit indirect, record of past human behavior. Stratigraphic analysis, with the help of behavioral correlates drawn from observations of ethnoarchaeologists and ethnographers, allows prehistorians to reconstruct the depositional events that created the archaeological record. From a behavioral perspective, religious systems and rituals consist in part of characteristic sets of actions that have material consequences and leave identifiable traces in the archaeological record. In the Southwest and elsewhere, archaeologists have pursued the study of prehistoric religion by drawing on ethnographic and historical accounts of religious behaviors to aid in the identification of...

    • 17 Navajo Ritual Histories, Organization, and Architecture: Implications for Archaeology
      (pp. 361-380)
      David M. Brugge and Dennis Gilpin

      Much archaeological research in the Southwest since the late 1970s has focused on the degree of complexity in prehistoric southwestern societies. The Grasshopper (University of Arizona) versus Chavez Pass (Arizona State University) debate (Graves et al. 1982; Upham 1982) dealt with the complexity in the Pueblo IV period (ca. A.D. 1300–1450). The Chacoan system (ca. A.D. 900–1150) has been interpreted as representing (at one extreme) small, independent, nonranked communities having a common architectural expression of a shared ritual (Gilpin 1989; cf. Fowler and Stein 1992; Stein and Lekson 1992) or (on the other extreme) a large, multicommunity polity...

    • 18 Cultural Collapse and Reorganization: The Origin and Spread of Pueblo Ritual Sodalities
      (pp. 381-410)
      John A. Ware and Eric Blinman

      In August 1992 a prehistoric medicine society assemblage was recovered from San Lazaro Pueblo, a privately owned ruin in the Galisteo Basin south of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Map 18.1). Consultations with Native American descendants confirmed the nature of the assemblage, and the Museum of New Mexico was given permission to study the materials and present its findings.

      San Lazaro Pueblo is a large Tano or Southern Tewa Pueblo occupied intermittently during the late prehistoric and early historic periods (Nelson 1914; Ware et al. 1998). A precipitous abandonment occurred around A.D. 1500, and the residents left behind many of their...

    • 19 The Flower World in Prehistoric Southwest Material Culture
      (pp. 411-428)
      Kelley Hays-Gilpin and Jane H. Hill

      Uto-Aztecan peoples of Mesoamerica and the Southwest, together with neighboring Pueblo and Mayan groups, share a system of verbal imagery in which a flowery spirit world is evoked, particularly in songs (Hill 1992). The verbal Flower World complex includes several elements, all found in songs in the Southwest and Mesoamerica:

      1. The Flower World is the land where the dead go and the land where living beings have their spiritual dimension. The “roads,” “patios,” “houses,” and living beings of the spirit land are “flowery.”

      2. The spiritual dimension of living beings and ritual objects can be evoked by associating them with flowers...

    • 20 Outward and Visible Signs: Textiles in Ceremonial Contexts
      (pp. 429-448)
      Lynn S. Teague

      The title of this chapter is taken from a Christian catechism. In this case, however, the subject is the use of textiles in the religious rituals of the Southwest, in particular those of the prehistoric Western Pueblo, Hohokam, Mogollon, Sinagua, and Salado traditions and those of their descendants among the historic Western Pueblos and the O’odham. Textiles were the visible signs of many aspects of behavior, including those related to ritual and ceremony.

      Contemporary Western Pueblo and O’odham ceremonial textiles trace their origins to a shared textile tradition that developed after about A.D. 1100, largely from antecedents in Hohokam and...

  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 449-450)
  12. Index
    (pp. 451-467)