The existence of cannibalism has emerged as one of the most controversial issues in the archaeology of the American Southwest. In this paper, we examine this issue by presenting the results of our investigation at 5MT10010, a small early Pueblo III habitation site in southwestern Colorado. Battered, broken bones from seven individuals were discovered in two adjacent pithouses at 5MT10010. Mixed and incomplete remains of four adults and an adolescent were recovered from the floor and ventilator shaft of one pithouse; the remains of two subadults were found on the floor and in various subfeatures of the second. Cut marks aid percussion scars implicate humans in the disarticulation and reduction of these bodies. Evidence of heat exposure on some bone fragments and laboratory analyses of a human coprolite recovered from one of the pithouses support the interpretation that people prepared and consumed human body parts. The discovery of disarticulated human remains at 5MT10010 is one of a number of similar finds in the northern Southwest. Analysis of cases from the Mesa Verde region indicates a sharp increase in cannibalism around A.D. 1150, a rime of drought and the collapse of the Chaco system. The causes, consequences, and nature of this this apparent outbreak of cannibalism are examined in light of 5MT10010 and other recent finds.
Foraging strategies of modern hunter-gatherers may not accurately model resource use of specialized big-game hunters. Historic accounts from the Northern Plains of North America indicate that utilization of spring-spawning fish when large mammals were fat-depleted was not universally beneficial. Three independent reports from Europeans and Americans show that a sudden switch from a prolonged diet of lean red meat to fish produces symptoms consistent with lipid (fat) malabsorption. It is hypothesized that plains-adapted hunter-gatherers formed their camps in grassland environments and hunted big game throughout the winter. The effects of eating lean meat alone were avoided by utilizing fetal and newborn animals and through the use of stored carbohydrate-rich foods. Groups associated with wooded environments wintered along the margins of the winter grazing range. They followed a diverse strategy with opportunistic use of big game and were able to exploit spring-spawning fish. Archaeological remains from 18 sites from the plains, parkland, and forests of Western Canada were used to test these hypotheses. The faunal assemblages, tools, and identifications of lipid residues from pottery vessels were consistent with the proposed strategies.
Evolutionary theory, in consort with Marxism and processualism, provides new insights into the interpretation of grave-good variation. Processual interpretations of burial sites in the American Southwest cite age, sex, or social rank as the main determinants of burial-good variation. Marxist theorists suggest that mortuary ritual mediates social tension between an egalitarian mindset and an existing social inequality. Evolutionary theory provides a supplementary explanatory framework. Recent studies guided by kin-selection theory suggest that humans grieve more for individuals of high reproductive value and genetic relatedness. Ethnographic examples also show that individuals mourn more intensively and, thus, place more social emphasis on burials of individuals of highest reproductive value (young adults). Analysis of grave goods from La Ciudad, a Hohokam site in the American Southwest, supports the hypothesis that labor value, reproductive value, and grief contributed to grave-good differentiation. At La Ciudad, individuals between the ages of 10 and 20 possessed more and higher-quality grave goods on average than any other age group. Grief at the loss of a young adult of high reproductive and labor value may facilitate explanation of mortuary variation at La Ciudad, as well as other sites in the greater Southwest and beyond.
Communal feasting is evaluated as a political resource in the northern Southwest from A.D. 850 to present along three axes: scale of participation and finance, frequency and structure of occurrence, and the resources used. Feasting is a recurrent social practice that has consistently facilitated social integration within Southwest communities, but has shown considerable variation through time. Prior to about A.D. 1275 communal feasting appears to have been more of a source of differentiation within communities than it was after this date, when feasting became truly communal and integrative, as it is today within Puebloan communities. At the same time, feasting also became inter-communal in scale and apparently played a role in the ritual differentiation of individual communities within larger clusters. It is suggested that these changes in the role of feasting had little to do with ecological or environmental variables, but instead reflect the pervasive cultural, social, and religious changes that occurred at this time throughout the Southwest.
Analysis of over 27,000 fish bones from strata at Daisy Cave dated between about 11,500 and 8500 cal B.P. suggests that early Channel Islanders fished relatively intensively in a variety of habitats using a number of distinct technologies, including boats and the earliest evidence for hook-and-line fishing on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. The abundance of fish remains and fishing-related artifacts supports dietary reconstructions that suggest fish provided more than 50 percent of the edible meat represented in faunal samples from the early Holocene site strata. The abundance and economic importance of fish at Daisy Cave, unprecedented among early sites along the Pacific Coast of North America, suggest that early maritime capabilities on the Channel Islands were both more advanced and more variable than previously believed. When combined with a survey of fish remains from several other early Pacific Coast sites, these data suggest that early New World peoples effectively used watercraft, captured a diverse array of fish, and exploited a variety of marine habitats and resources.
In modeling the colonization of the Americas, Anderson and Gillam (2000) employ size estimates for vanguard forager bands that are of dubious reproductive viability in light of human incest prohibitions and variable sex ratios at birth.
This paper discusses the Kennewick lawsuit as it relates to the intended purposes of NAGPRA. It also reflects upon comments made by Swedlund and Anderson (1999) in a recent American Antiquity Forum, which conceptually linked two ancient skeletons, Gordon Creek Woman and Kennewick Man. Their assertions indicate the need for clarifying specific issues and events pertaining to the case. We comment on how times have changed with the passage of NAGPRA, how differently these two skeletons have been treated by the media and the scientists interested in them, and show how discussions of biological affiliation have relevance. There is still much to be learned from Kennewick Man and Gordon Creek Woman. But attempts to bring the concept of race or racial typing into the picture show misunderstanding regarding the use of morphological data in tracing population historical relationships, not to mention obfuscating the scientific issues they raise.
Early in the nineteenth century, geologist Charles Lyell reasoned that successively older faunas would contain progressively more extinct species and younger faunas relatively more errant species. The present, with one-hundred percent extant species, was the chronological anchor In archaeology a similar notion underpins the direct historical approach: Successively older-cultures will contain progressively fewer of the cultural traits found in extant cultures and relatively more prehistoric traits. As in Lyell's scheme, the chronological anchor is the present. When A. L. Kroeber invented frequency seriation in the second decade of the twentieth century, he retained the present as a chronological anchor but reasoned that the oldest cultural manifestation would contain the highest percentage of a variant, or what came to be known as a "style," of an ancient trait, and successively younger cultural manifestations would have progressively lower percentages of that variant. The principle of overlapping permitted building sequences of fossils and artifacts, but differences in the units that allowed the chronometers to be operationalized reveal significant epistemological variation in how historical reseal ch is undertaken. This variation should be of considerable interest to paleobiologists and archaeologists alike, especially given recent archaeological interest in creating and explaining historical lineages of artifacts.
Perishable artifacts provide an alternative to projectile points for examining spatial patterns in Archaic material culture between northern and southern portions of the Colorado Plateau of the North American Southwest. This is so because they possess a potential great variety of specific construction and design attributes and can be directly dated to establish independent chronologies of development. The analysis and dating of a collection of warp-faced plain weave sandals from Chevelon Canyon, Arizona demonstrates the potential utility of perishable artifacts to our understanding of prehistory. The collection provides an important first sample of early Archaic footwear for the southern Colorado Plateau. AMS dating reveals that the oldest Chevelon Canyon sandal (8300 ± 60 B.P.) is 1,500 years earlier than the oldest directly dated sandal of this style on the northern Colorado Plateau. Most of the Chevelon Canyon sandals date from 7500 to 6000 cal. B.C., contemporaneous with open-twined sandals on the northern Colorado Plateau. This study provides another contrast in forager material culture between southern and northern portions of the plateau during the early Archaic, prior to ca. 5700 cal. B.C. After this time, the plain weave sandal style was adopted on the northern Colorado Plateau but not because of population replacement.
A shift in Archaic foraging to a largely logistic collector strategy by the middle Holocene is indicated by the presence of rockfilled middens in the U.S. southern Midwest. This change has usually been attributed to the development of super-rich wetland habitats in large river valleys. Analysis of a well-preserved faunal assemblage from the Bluegrass site, a late Middle Archaic base camp/mortuary occupation, located in an interior upland drainage basin of southwestern Indiana, suggests that small-bodied terrestrial mammals and reptiles were substituted for aquatic animal foods. Comparisons with faunal assemblages from other base camps in a diverse set of habitats in the southern Midwest indicates that white-tailed deer and hickory nuts were the basis for the logistical foraging strategy rather than aquatic resources. It is proposed that a change in forest composition from a mesic closed canopy to an open oak-hickory association by the middle Holocene increased the abundance of deer and nut mast leading to a coarse-grain use of the landscape.
In 1932 Haury described lead-glaze pottery from the Southwest. In view of his report, it appeared desirable to find out whether the makers of such pottery suffered from lead poisoning. A series of 46 bone specimens from Kinishba, where lead-glaze pottery was made, and a control series of 33 specimens from Point of Pines, where such pottery is not known to have been made, were screened by X-ray and by X-ray diffraction. The 11 most promising specimens were then analyzed by atomic absorbtion spectrophotometry. Lead was found in quantities believed to be below the toxic range; concentrations in the control series from Point of Pines were, with few exceptions, higher than in the experimental series from Kinishba.
Some of the first recorded archaeology done in North America was accomplished by John Rowzee Peyton in 1774. With two companions, Peyton escaped from jail in Santa Fe. Using a compass and a copy of the Delisle map of 1703, he made his way to an Osage camp on the Missouri River and thence to St. Louis. En route, he stopped to excavate in a burial mound. His interpretation of the mounds he saw is one of the first recorded instances of the Mound Builder myth. There is reason to suspect that Peyton may have been responsible for the origin of the myth, as an oral tradition among the educated elite of the American colonies.
Although most archaeologists recognize that valuable information about the social lives of ancient people can be obtained through the study of burial practices, it is clear that the symbolic nature of burial rituals makes interpreting their social significance a hazardous enterprise. These analytical difficulties can be greatly reduced using a research strategy that draws upon the strengths of a broad range of conceptually and methodologically independent data sources. We illustrate this approach by using archaeological data from cemeteries at Malibu, California, to explore an issue over which researchers are sharply divided: when did the simple chiefdoms of the Chumash Indians first appear in the Santa Barbara Channel area? First we establish the social correlates of Chumash burial practices through the comparison of historic-period cemetery data, ethnohistoric records, and ethnographic accounts. The resulting understanding of mortuary symbolism is then used to generate hypotheses about the social significance of prehistoric-period Malibu burial patterns. Finally, bioarchaeological data on genetic relationships, health status, and activity are used to independently test artifact-based hypotheses about prehistoric Chumash social organization. Together, these independent data sources constitute strong evidence for the existence of a ranked society with a hereditary elite during the late Middle period in the Santa Barbara Channel area.
Santa Rosa Island skeletal collections, dating from between 4000 and 400 B.P., were analyzed for evidence of dental caries. Carious lesions were found to decrease significantly through time, as were sexual differences in caries rates. These trends in dental health appear to reflect changes in diet and sexual division of labor associated with a subsistence shift from the exploitation of roots, tubers, and other cariogenic plant foods to the intensive exploitation of fish. Analysis of dental caries can provide information on prehistoric carbohydrate intake that is unavailable using conventional methods of faunal and artifactual analysis.
The article by Billman et al. contributes to a growing body of data that demonstrates the complex variability of the Pueblo world during the twelfth century. Although the article's title promises a comprehensive review of major cultural and environmental processes (drought, warfare, cannibalism, regional interactions), relatively little theory regarding these processes informs their research design, and much of their interpretation is based on weak inferences. Their empirical data are not used to test alternative hypotheses or rigorously examine expectations derived from modeling. Dynamic aspects of cultural patterns relating to migration, settlement, environment, abandonment, mortuary behaviors, conflict, and group identity are implicated in their research but are not adequately contextualized. Our response to the study by Billman et al. is intended to provide a critical yet constructive commentary, propose fresh ways of thinking about what assemblages of disarticulated and broken bones might mean, and reformulate how research questions are being asked.
If we take the archaeological record at face value, the colonization of unglaciated North America appears to have been very rapid. The highly consistent dating of Clovis archaeological sites (11,500-10,800 B.P.) suggests that this continent was populated within a matter of centuries. To explain the spatial and temporal scales of this phenomenon, it is necessary to invoke both high mobility and high fertility rates during the initial colonization process. However, it is widely believed that it is maladaptive for mobile foragers to have large numbers of offspring due to the costs of transporting those children. Thus, the archaeological record presents us with a paradox. Using a mathematical model that estimates the costs of raising children for mobile hunter-gatherers, this paper asks the question - is high mobility compatible with high fertility? It is concluded that high mobility, if defined as the frequent movement of residential base camps, is quite compatible with high fertility, and that early Paleoindians could indeed have been characterized by high reproductive rates. Therefore, it is quite possible that the Americas were populated very rapidly by highly mobile hunter-gatherers.
Although the practice of food storage is important to many questions addressed by archaeologists, demonstrating its presence in archaeological contexts can be difficult or impossible. One potentially useful approach to meat storage is the concept of the Drying Utility Index, introduced by Lewis Binford (1978) to predict which carcass portions, with attached bone, will be selected for storage by drying. However, this index has not been widely used by zooarchaeologists, at least in part because the calculations involved in its derivation are extremely complex. This paper presents a new, simplified index, the Meat Drying Index, which is easier to calculate and more transparent than the Drying Utility Index, yet which retains all of its key attributes. This new index is applied to caribou bone samples from two regions: Binford's (1978) Nunamiut data from northern Alaska, and the contents of three caches from the Barren Grounds of Canada, near Baker Lake, Nunavut. In both cases, the Meat Drying Index correlates with the observed element frequencies as well as, or better than, the original Drying Utility Index. As a result, the new index may prove applicable to element distributions from a wide range of archaeological contexts in which storage of meat by drying is suspected.
A sample of 48 burials from the Tayasal Peninsula area, El Peten, Guatemala, is used to tentatively suggest a dietary shift sometime around Middle Classic times among the Maya. This conclusion is reached through an observed variation in the amount of calculus, or tooth tartar, deposited through time.
Most zooarchaeologists employ some type of derived measure of skeletal element abundance in their analyses of faunal data. The minimum number of individuals (MNI) and the minimum number of animal units (MAU) are two of the most popular derived measurements, and each is based on a prior estimate of the minimum number of elements (MNE). Thus, the estimate of MNE from fragmented faunal fragments is the essential foundation for all inferences emanating from MNI and MAU estimates of skeletal element abundance. Estimating the MNE represented by a sample of faunal fragments is a complicated procedure that involves various assumptions, possible mathematical manipulations, and subjectivity. Unfortunately, the reasoning and methods underlying this procedure are unstandardized in zooarchaeology, and even worse, rarely made explicit. We review the scarce literature on this topic and identify two different approaches: the fraction summation approach and the overlap approach. We identify strengths and weaknesses in both approaches. We then present a new method that is based on using image-analysis GIS software to count overlapping fragments that have been converted to pixel images. This method maintains the strengths of the other methods while overcoming most of their weaknesses. It promises numerous powerful analytical capabilities that go far beyond the routines available in spreadsheets and databases. It also offers nearly boundless flexibility in database recoding and extremely complete information storage. Perhaps its greatest strength is that it is based on very intuitive reasoning.
The nearly-complete, well-preserved skeleton of a Paleoamerican male was found by chance near Kennewick, Washington, in 1996. Although analysis was quickly suspended by the U.S. government, initial osteological, archaeological, and geological studies provide a glimpse into the age and life of this individual. A radiocarbon age of 8410 ± 60 B.P., stratigraphic position in a widely-dated alluvial terrace, and an early-Cascade style projectile point healed into the pelvis date the find to the late Early Holocene. Initial osteological analysis describes the man as middle-aged, standing 173.1 ± 3.6 cm tall and weighing approximately 70-75 kg. Healthy as a child, he later suffered repeatedly from injuries to his skull, left arm, chest, and hip, in addition to minor osteoarthritis and periodontal disease. His physical features, teeth, and skeletal measurements show him to be an outlier relative to modern human populations, but place him closer to Pacific Islanders and Ainu than to Late Prehistoric Amerinds or any other modern group. Despite his uniqueness relative to modern peoples, he is not significantly different from other Paleoamerican males in most characteristics.
How early human populations in North America maintained reproductive viability is a question that has shaped our research for over a decade. The concept of staging areas, mechanisms for band-macroband interaction, and an examination of how interaction networks could have formed and evolved over the course of the Paleoindian era are all solutions that we have presented.
Radiometric and visual techniques are compared as quantitative methods for determining pottery color. An analysis of fifty-two prehistoric sherds selected at random from a multicomponent site indicates that there is an increase in the accuracy and efficiency in determining color using a spectroradiometer over subjective visual observations. Further, radiometric data can be transformed to CIE chromacity coordinates and Munsell color from spectral reflectance curves and analysed directly to access quantitative accuracy.
The Lower Mississippi Survey was initiated in 1939 as a joint undertaking of three institutions: the School of Geology at Louisiana State University, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and the Peabody Museum at Harvard. Fieldwork began in 1940 but was halted during the war years. When fieldwork resumed in 1946, James Ford had joined the American Museum of Natural History, which assumed cosponsorship from LSU. The purpose of the Lower Mississippi Survey (LMS)-a term used to identify both the fieldwork and the resultant volume-was to investigate the northern two-thirds of the alluvial valley of the lower Mississippi River, roughly from the mouth of the Ohio River to Vicksburg. This area covers about 350 miles and had been long regarded as one of the principal hot spots in eastern North American archaeology. Phillips, Ford, and Griffin surveyed over 12,000 square miles, identified 382 archaeological sites, and analyzed over 350,000 potsherds in order to define ceramic typologies and establish a number of cultural periods. The commitment of these scholars to developing a coherent understanding of the archaeology of the area, as well as their mutual respect for one another, enabled the publication of what is now commonly considered the bible of southeastern archaeology. Originally published in 1951 as volume 25 of the Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, this work has been long out of print. Because Stephen Williams served for 35 years as director of the LMS at Harvard, succeeding Phillips, and was closely associated with the authors during their lifetimes, his new introduction offers a broad overview of the work's influence and value, placing it in a contemporary context. "Meant for the expert and informed layman, it sets a standard for archaeological studies."-Journal of the West "One of the important classics in the field. . . Incredibly influential over the decades. . . . Enhancing this timeless volume, the new edition contains four very useful indexes (general, site descriptors, pottery descriptors, and other artifacts). . . .This book should not be an old tome gathering dust on the shelf, but a resource in constant use for reference and inspiration. Students of archaeology should read it as an example of one of the first great syntheses. Nobody should conduct archaeological research in the Southeast without knowing it."-Journal of Alabama Archaeology "For anyone who has tried long and hard to find a copy of the original, this reprinted volume is a godsend. . . . To say that this 1951 study is a classic is a major understatement. Not only did the volume set the foundation for much of the research conducted within the LMV since that time, it had a significant imapct upon how that research was (and still is) conducted. Names of many of the periods, cultures, and pottery types (even some pottery varieties) that today are commonly employed across the region owe their genesis to PF&G. . . . No archaeologist working in the LMV, and certainly none within the state of Mississippi, should be without a copy. . . . There is no excuse not to have this study now that it is available again at a reasonable price. If you do not yet have a copy, go get one now! You will be very glad that you did."- Mississippi Archaeology.
Incluye índice Historia de los chontales que habitaban en Acalan, provincia ubicada en un punto estratégico para el mundo maya prehispánico. El período abarcado por los autores de libro va desde la época prehispánica hasta los primeros años de la conquista. Esta área de Tabasco forma parte de la península de Yucatán, por lo que también contribuye a la historia de la misma. Incluye bibliografía
Combining anthropology, archeology, and evolutionary theory, Paul E. Minnis develops a model of how tribal societies deal with severe food shortages. While focusing on the prehistory of the Rio Mimbres region of New Mexico, he provides comparative data from the Fringe Enga of New Guinea, the Tikopia of Tikopia Island, and the Gwembe Tonga of South Africa. Minnis proposes that, faced with the threat of food shortages, nonstratified societies survive by employing a series of responses that are increasingly effective but also are increasingly costly and demand increasingly larger cooperative efforts. The model Minnis develops allows him to infer, from evidence of such factors as population size, resource productivity, and climate change, the occurrence of food crises in the past. Using the Classic Mimbres society as a test case, he summarizes the regional archeological sequence and analyzes the effects of environmental fluctuations on economic and social organization. He concludes that the responses of the Mimbres people to their burgeoning population were inadequate to prevent the collapse of the society in the late twelfth century. In its illumination of the general issue of responses to food shortages, Social Adaptation to Food Stress will interest not only archeologists but also those concerned with current food shortages in the Third World. Cultural ecologists and human geographers will be able to derive a wealth of ideas, methods, and data from Minnis's work.
The study of the archaeology of farming communities in southern Africa is an inherently political activity but there has been little critical analysis of the role of social context in forming problems and in shaping answers. It is argued in this paper that the history of Iron Age research south of the Zambezi shows the prevalent influence of colonial ideologies, both in the earliest speculations about the nature of the African past and in the adaptations that have been made to contemporary archeological methodologies in their application to the subcontinent. Concepts such as ethnicity have acquired specific meanings in southern Africa that contrast with the use of similar ideas in other contexts such as Australasia. Such relativity reinforces the view that specific, detailed critiques of archaeological practice in differing social environments are necessary for an understanding of the manner in which the present shapes the past.
Using selective maize yield data from ethnohistoric and government sources dating between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, Schroeder (1999) argues that Mississipian average yield potential fell within a 9-10 bu/acre range. We evaluate her argument in terms of well-established climatic, environmental, varietal, and behavioral constraints on maize agriculture and conclude that reconstructing prehistoric agricultural potential requires a more precise methodology that incorporates these factors.
Controversy has surrounded the All American Man pictograph in southeast Utah since its discovery in the 1950s. Its coloration, similar to the flag of the United States of America, has led to questions regarding its authenticity. We have obtained two radiocarbon values on a single sample comprised of pigmented sandstone fragments from one small area of this pictograph. They suggest the pictograph dates to the fourteenth century and indicate that it is an authentic, prehistoric pictograph, probably Anasazi in origin.
From the late 1700s, Hawaiian society began to change rapidly as it responded to the growing world system of capital whose trade routes and markets crisscrossed the islands. Reflecting many years of collaboration between Marshall Sahlins, a prominent social anthropologist, and Patrick V. Kirch, a leading archaeologist of Oceania, Anahulu seeks out the traces of this transformation in a typical local center of the kingdom founded by Kamehameha: the Anahulu river valley of northwestern Oahu. Volume I shows the surprising effects of the encounter with the imperial forces of commerce and Christianityâthe distinctive ways the Hawaiian people culturally organized the experience, from the structure of the kingdom to the daily life of ordinary people. Volume II examines the material record of changes in local social organization, economy and production, population, and domestic settlement arrangements.
All previous books dealing with prehistoric hunter-gatherers in the high Andes have treated ancient mountain populations from a troglodyte's perspective, as if they were little different from lowlanders who happened to occupy jagged terrain. Early mountain populations have been transformed into generic foragers because the basic nature of high-altitude stress and biological adaptation has not been addressed. In Montane Foragers, Mark Aldenderfer builds a unique and penetrating model of montane foraging that justly shatters this traditional approach to ancient mountain populations. Aldenderfer's investigation forms a methodological and theoretical tour de force that elucidates elevational stress—what it takes for humans to adjust and survive at high altitudes. In a masterful integration of mountain biology and ecology, he emphasizes the nature of hunter-gatherer adaptations to high-mountain environments. He carefully documents the cultural history of Asana, the first stratified, open-air site discovered in the highlands of the south-central Andes. He establishes a number of major occurrences at this revolutionary site, including the origins of plant and animal domestication and transitions to food production, the growth and packing of forager populations, and the advent of some form of complexity and social hierarchy. The rich and diversified archaeological record recovered at Asana—which spans from 10,000 to 3,500 years ago—includes the earliest houses as well as public and ceremonial buildings in the central cordillera. Built, used, and abandoned over many millennia, the Asana structures completely transform our understanding of the antiquity and development of native American architecture. Aldenderfer's detailed archaeological case study of high-elevation foraging adaptation, his description of this extreme environment as a viable human habitat, and his theoretical model of montane foraging create a new understanding of the lifeways of foraging peoples worldwide.