Browsing UA Graduate and Undergraduate Research by Subjects
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A GIS Model of Shell Exchange between Coastal Southern California and Northern ArizonaShell was traded into the United States Southwest from various areas, one of which was coastal Southern California. Abalone shell, or Haliotis, is solely sourced from the Pacific coast and provides irrefutable evidence of this trade. This exchange likely involved many Indigenous groups between the sourcing area and the shell’s inevitable endpoints. Historical documentation of trails for facilitating exchange exists, but modeling a route in a spatial analysis program has not been attempted for this transregional exchange. Utilizing least cost path analysis in ArcGIS Pro provides a theoretically most efficient route of abalone shell from the Chumash and Gabrielino Indigenous groups to seven archaeological sites in Northern Arizona and one just across the Utah–Arizona border in Kanab, Utah. The results of the model are mixed. It partially matches with historic documentation in California but is more consistent with the U.S. Southwest trail documentation. Further model refinement is proposed to incorporate hydrographic data, a modified Tobler’s hiking function for more accuracy, incorporate more documented sites on the Southern California coast and further inland, and complete additional modeling between destination sites. Still, the model presented here is a first step to further evaluating Southern California–Southwest exchange and shell procurement.
A Colorful Past: Turquoise and Social Identity in the Late Prehispanic Western Pueblo Region, A.D. 1275–1400Turquoise is synonymous with the U.S. Southwest, occurring naturally in relative abundance and culturally prized for millennia. As color and material, turquoise is fundamental to the worldviews of numerous indigenous groups of the region, with notable links to moisture, sky, and personal and familial vitality. For Pueblo groups in particular, turquoise and other blue-green minerals hold a prominent place in myth, ritual, aesthetics, and cosmology. They continue to be used as important offerings, deposited in shrines and decorating objects like prayer-sticks and adornments. Archaeological occurrences of turquoise in contexts such as caches, structural foundations, and burials demonstrate its important, perhaps ritually oriented role in prehispanic Pueblo practices. This research examines the myriad uses of turquoise and other blue-green minerals in the late prehispanic Western Pueblo region of the U.S. Southwest (northeastern Arizona and western New Mexico, A.D. 1275–1400). I assess the distribution and depositional patterning of turquoise to explore the role of social valuables in expressing similarities or differences among groups at various social scales. In recent decades, studies of material culture from late prehispanic contexts (most commonly ceramics) have broadened understandings of settlement-specific demographics, the direction and approximate size of distinct population movements, and the structure and transformation of social networks. Such studies have revealed complex and variable relationships between settlements, even those located within distinct settlement clusters. While building upon these insights, this study provides a different, yet comparable outlook by focusing on turquoise, its various uses in social or ritual settings, and its involvement in expressing social or ideological connections that may have differed from other material forms. The project employs a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating archaeology, geochemistry, and ethnography in an effort to address a central research question: How did the circulation and consumption of turquoise vary throughout the late prehispanic Western Pueblo region, and what are the implications for understanding interactions and identity expressions within and among aggregating settlements and settlement clusters? The ancient role of turquoise and other blue-green materials in social identification was explored through several angles, including: 1) spatiotemporal patterns in the stylistic characteristics of ornaments and painted media (e.g., shape and size of beads and pendants or designs on blue-green painted objects); 2) the context and content of archaeological deposits with turquoise (i.e., uses beyond personal and ceremonial adornment, such as ritual offerings); and 3) regional patterns of mineral acquisition and exchange using measurements of heavy stable isotopes. Interviews with Hopi and Zuni consultants—jewelers, artists, and cultural experts—augmented the study by incorporating the participation and perspectives of descendent communities. Taken together, patterns of use and acquisition provide novel means of assessing social or ideological connections between late prehispanic Pueblo communities, and help to clarify the complex and multifaceted ways past Pueblo groups materially expressed their social identities. Woven with contemporary Pueblo sentiments, these data provide indisputable evidence of a colorful and spiritual past.
Inconspicuous Identity: Using Corrugated Pottery to Explore Social Identity within the Homol'ovi Settlement Cluster, A.D. 1260-1400This research explores the relationship between social identity, artifact style, and communities of practice in the late prehispanic U.S. Southwest, focusing on how domestic, utilitarian objects and contexts both shape and reflect social identities. During the A.D. 1200s and 1300s, large-scale migration and aggregation occurred over much of the U.S. Southwest, bringing diverse individual and community identities into contact and, potentially, conflict. Within this social context, this research focused on clarifying the relationship between social identities and utilitarian objects and domestic contexts, and how this relationship can elucidate the social history of a community. These issues were explored through analysis of corrugated utilitarian pottery from the sites of the Homol’ovi Settlement Cluster (HSC), a community of seven villages in northeastern Arizona occupied from around 1260 through 1400. The social organization of corrugated pottery production in the HSC was approached from several angles. To identify the number and nature of the ceramic manufacturing communities present during the Pueblo IV occupation of the Homol’ovi area, sherds were submitted for instrumental neutron activation analysis and petrographic analysis. The results of the compositional analyses indicate that ceramic production groups in the Homol’ovi area were not primarily distinguished by access to specific raw material resources. What differentiation there is within the raw materials used by Homol’ovi potters appears to have been determined primarily by village, with the residents of a few villages preferring to use specific clay or temper sources. Both locally produced pottery and ceramics imported into the Homol’ovi area were incorporated into a typological and stylistic analysis. This analysis found evidence of two different production styles in the corrugated pottery assemblage. One appears stylistically similar to pottery produced in areas to the north around the Hopi Mesas; the other appears to be more akin to stylistic traditions practiced in the Puerco area and in the Chevelon drainage. This diversity suggests the presence of multiple immigrant communities co-residing within the HSC. This social diversity is not reflected in the decorated ceramic tradition of the HSC, which largely conforms to the ceramic traditions of the Hopi Mesas. Interrogating the disjuncture in the identities embodied through different categories of material culture, used in different social contexts, provides a framework through which to explore the complex social relationships that characterized Pueblo IV villages formed as individuals and communities negotiated the competing forces of integration and differentiation. This study demonstrates the value of approaching identity from multiple scales. If identity is understood as fundamentally multi-faceted and multi-scalar, even seemingly homogeneous cultural units are characterized by social diversity and the tension that accompanies such diversity. The patterns of production visible in utilitarian corrugated pottery provide a nuanced method of clarifying the complex identities of Ancestral Puebloan communities and assessing social connections and differences between groups.
Points of View: Landscape Persistence in Northeastern, AZThis thesis investigates the processes of place-making at Rock Art Ranch, northeastern Arizona from the Paleoindian period to early agricultural Basketmaker II period (11,500 BCE-600 CE) using the surface distributions of projectile points. Three major canyons cross-cut the ranch providing ample water resources that can be exploited year-round through natural springs, groundwater, and seasonal pools, attracting fauna and providing a diverse range of floral resources. Resources at Rock Art Ranch also include two cobble outcrops, providing raw material for stone tool manufacture. Additionally, thousands of petroglyphs scale the walls of Chevelon Canyon, ranging from Archaic to Pueblo styles. The sample of 162 preceramic projectile points are mostly found close to the canyons. Paleoindian, early Archaic, and middle Archaic projectile points are concentrated around Bell Cow Canyon. Projectile points made by semi-sedentary groups of the late Archaic and Basketmaker II periods occur more often around Chimney Canyon, demonstrating a shift in settlement. Projectile points dating from earlier periods are often associated with pithouse and pueblo sites, suggesting curation practices and active engagement with these materials. Continued use of the landscape seen in the discard of projectile points indicates that RAR was an important area for procurement of resources such as water, plant and animal foods, and lithic material. Evidence of discard and engagement with the artifacts and features from older occupations suggest that their cultural memories tied to this place were associated with the resources found there, but that memory of the place was reinforced by the archaeological record