AuthorAronson, Meredith Alexandra.
KeywordsPottery -- Mexico -- Technique.
Indians of Mexico -- Funeral customs and rites.
Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Mexico.
Committee ChairKingery, Dave
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study investigates prehistoric West Mexican mortuary activities as technological systems. That is, the production, distribution, and use of mortuary ceramics are considered within a social context. Changes in technology are related to social and ideational changes in the society. In the past, interest in West Mexico has been stimulated by the large number of Pre-columbian ceramic figurines found in museums and private collections worldwide. Lacking more specific information, the art world created a "cult of the dead" to describe the people who made these figurines. Today, evidence on mortuary behavior and lifeways clearly demonstrates that these people were involved in many kinds of activities. This study aims to define mortuary activity within a context of technological, social, and ideational structures. Within this framework, technological changes occurring between the late Formative and the Classic period (200 B.C. to A.D. 700) at two small sites in the Valley of Atemajac were compared to changes occurring at the center of the region, 50 kilometers away. Technical analysis of the artifacts using optical, electron optical, and x-ray techniques was carried out. When combined with grosser archaeological categories regarding the treatment of the interred, and the distribution of artifacts within and between tombs, this resulted in a technological reconstruction of the production, distribution, and use of the mortuary ceramics. This technological reconstruction was placed within a regional context, based on inferences built from settlement pattern and architectural data as well as ethnohistoric records. Technological reconstruction resulted in the unconditional conclusion that the technical, social and ideational changes seen in the Valley of Atemajac could only be due to a discontinuity in site occupation, and later resettlement by outsiders.
Degree ProgramMaterials Science and Engineering