• Judging the Mark of an Individual: An Investigation of Design Variation in Prehistoric Pottery from Grasshopper Pueblo, Arizona

      Van Keuren, Scott, 1969- (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1994)
      Archaeological research on ceramic styles has become a mainstay of archaeological investigation wherever collections are available. This trend has gained momentum in recent decades as traditional applications (e.g., dating sites and identifying patterns of regional interaction) have gradually been eclipsed by more dynamic explorations of style as "nonverbal" communication. Despite this positive course of research, recent essays (e.g., articles in Conkey and Hastorf 1990, Hegmon 1992) have noted the unchecked variability manifest in the methodologies and interpretations offered in the literature on this subject. Indeed, with no "unified" theory of style, researchers are free to define style and its meaning (at any level) however they prefer, and often they do so on the basis of unsound assumptions concerning the seemingly inaccessible, multifarious operation of style in prehistoric communities. The present study seeks to explore an alternative method for the study of ceramic styles, focusing on objectively delimited design structures as revealed by aspects of "sub-design" variability. A collection of late prehistoric decorated ceramics from eastern Arizona are used as a preliminary case study to investigate variation in design structure patterns between multiple production centers. En route to a more "unified" approach to style in prehistory, this essay attempts to provide an alternative, less subjective means of reconstructing prehistoric cognitive processes and relating these to meaningful correlates in sociocultural organization and interaction.
    • Maya Royal Ritual: Architectonics as a Key to Political Organization

      Smith, Adam T. (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1994)
      This study considers the spaces occupied by Maya royal rituals as a means of testing the application of models of political organization. Investigation of the architectonics of several temple pyramids at the sites of Copan, Tikal, and Seibal indicates that Maya political organization does not resemble that required by either the galactic polity or segmentary state models. Comparison with large Mesopotamian temples from Early Dynastic levels at Khafaje and al-'Ubaid suggests that the royal rituals of the Classic Maya are indicative of a city-state political organization.
    • Paradox, Process, and Mystery: An Exploration of Anthropology and Healing

      Miller, Janneli F. (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 1994)
      This paper examines anthropological studies of healing. It asserts that since healing is not merely a cognitive undertaking, research which addresses only intellectual realms will be incomplete. An abbreviated review of the history of anthropology and healing begins with a summary of the development of medical anthropology and ethnomedicine and continues with a discussion of six topical areas related to research on healing. These are the symbolic, performative, psychological, processual, political-economic perspectives, as well as that of efficacy. The processual nature of healing is investigated, especially in regards to its relationship with ritual. Finally, directions for further research are explored. It is argued that patient-healer relations are central to successful healing interactions, and that the presence and agency of participants can be a point of departure for research. Furthermore, attention to ambiguity, aesthetics, and death is needed in order to situate the practice of healing. A call is made for self-reflective, engaged, meaning-centered research on healing.