From Archaeology to Ideology in Northwest Mexico: Cerro de Moctezuma in the Casas Grandes Ritual Landscape

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/145310
Title:
From Archaeology to Ideology in Northwest Mexico: Cerro de Moctezuma in the Casas Grandes Ritual Landscape
Author:
Pitezel, Todd
Issue Date:
2011
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © 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.
Abstract:
The research presented here explores why a few people left their valley-dwelling neighbors to build and live at El Pueblito on Cerro de Moctezuma, the only hilltop settlement constructed during the Casas Grandes Medio period (A.D. 1200-1450) in what is today northwest Chihuahua, Mexico. These people also constructed the only currently recognized trails to a settlement, a massive rock agricultural system and subterranean oven, and an unparalleled crowning hill summit precinct. Comparative analyses of artifacts from limited excavations at El Pueblito to four other Medio period settlements shows that in terms of ceramics, chipped stone, and ground stone, El Pueblito was an ordinary residence. However, other evidence demonstrates that El Pueblito, and more comprehensively Cerro de Moctezuma, was beyond the ordinary. Wood preference, bird wings, remains of elk, an impractical use of construction materials, an imposing use of buildings, a unique architectural style, and an untypical settlement composition support a conclusion of specialized, ideological interests. Trails and wayside shrines at Cerro de Moctezuma were physical and symbolic places that initialized perceptions of the hill. Theories of ritualization, architecture, pilgrimage, and community; ethnographic analogy; and archaeological parallels provide vantages to orient Cerro de Moctezuma within a broader ritualized landscape of interactions involving hilltop shrines, feasting ovens, ball courts, and Paquimé, the premier capital of Medio times. Cerro de Moctezuma and Paquimé each concentrated the trappings of specialization. Tangible reproductions of ritual in the hinterland, such as ovens and ball courts, are less elaborately expressed than at Paquimé. Likewise, hilltop ritual facilities are most elaborate at Cerro de Moctezuma compared to those in the hinterland. Pilgrimage to both ritual centers as well as hinterland ritual leaders are envisioned. Within a trans-regional ideology and worldview of hill settlement and use, Cerro de Moctezuma was locally crafted from a ritual mandate to reinforce and maintain central beliefs and values emanating from Paquimé and was a physical and ideological part of that great center with ritual leadership residing periodically at both places.
Type:
Electronic Dissertation; text
Keywords:
Casas Grandes; Hill settlement; Landscape; Medio period; Northwest Mexico; Ritual
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Fish, Suzanne K.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleFrom Archaeology to Ideology in Northwest Mexico: Cerro de Moctezuma in the Casas Grandes Ritual Landscapeen_US
dc.creatorPitezel, Todden_US
dc.contributor.authorPitezel, Todden_US
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.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.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe research presented here explores why a few people left their valley-dwelling neighbors to build and live at El Pueblito on Cerro de Moctezuma, the only hilltop settlement constructed during the Casas Grandes Medio period (A.D. 1200-1450) in what is today northwest Chihuahua, Mexico. These people also constructed the only currently recognized trails to a settlement, a massive rock agricultural system and subterranean oven, and an unparalleled crowning hill summit precinct. Comparative analyses of artifacts from limited excavations at El Pueblito to four other Medio period settlements shows that in terms of ceramics, chipped stone, and ground stone, El Pueblito was an ordinary residence. However, other evidence demonstrates that El Pueblito, and more comprehensively Cerro de Moctezuma, was beyond the ordinary. Wood preference, bird wings, remains of elk, an impractical use of construction materials, an imposing use of buildings, a unique architectural style, and an untypical settlement composition support a conclusion of specialized, ideological interests. Trails and wayside shrines at Cerro de Moctezuma were physical and symbolic places that initialized perceptions of the hill. Theories of ritualization, architecture, pilgrimage, and community; ethnographic analogy; and archaeological parallels provide vantages to orient Cerro de Moctezuma within a broader ritualized landscape of interactions involving hilltop shrines, feasting ovens, ball courts, and Paquimé, the premier capital of Medio times. Cerro de Moctezuma and Paquimé each concentrated the trappings of specialization. Tangible reproductions of ritual in the hinterland, such as ovens and ball courts, are less elaborately expressed than at Paquimé. Likewise, hilltop ritual facilities are most elaborate at Cerro de Moctezuma compared to those in the hinterland. Pilgrimage to both ritual centers as well as hinterland ritual leaders are envisioned. Within a trans-regional ideology and worldview of hill settlement and use, Cerro de Moctezuma was locally crafted from a ritual mandate to reinforce and maintain central beliefs and values emanating from Paquimé and was a physical and ideological part of that great center with ritual leadership residing periodically at both places.en_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.subjectCasas Grandesen_US
dc.subjectHill settlementen_US
dc.subjectLandscapeen_US
dc.subjectMedio perioden_US
dc.subjectNorthwest Mexicoen_US
dc.subjectRitualen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorFish, Suzanne K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFish, Paul R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMills, Barbara J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReid, J. Jeffersonen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSheridan, Thomas E.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest11475-
dc.identifier.oclc752261344-
dc.identifier.oclc752261344-
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