Unpacking Personhood and Identity in the Hohokam Area of Southern Arizona

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/312658
Title:
Unpacking Personhood and Identity in the Hohokam Area of Southern Arizona
Author:
Cerezo-Román, Jessica Inés
Issue Date:
2013
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.
Embargo:
Release 09-Jan-2016
Abstract:
My research centers on changes in personhood, identity and funerary rituals from the Early Agricultural Period to the Classic Period in the Tucson Basin. The three core papers of my dissertation represent submissions to peer-review journals or book chapters, all of which are connected by similar research themes. The first paper examines changes in funerary rituals from the Early Agricultural Period (2100 B.C.-A.D. 50 ) to the Early Preclassic Period (A.D. 475-750) and how these changes modified social relationships between the dead, their families and the community. A total of 21 archaeological sites and 436 burials were analyzed. The predominant mortuary rituals in the Early Agricultural Period were inhumations characterized by variations in body position and location, possibly emphasizing individuality. These rituals changed in the Preclassic Period as cremation became the dominant practice. Cremations during this period were mainly secondary deposits with low quantities of bone located in cemeteries within habitation courtyard groups. Social group membership was emphasized through these cremations. Results suggest that triggers for changes in funerary rituals through time were multicausal, but these changes are reflective of emerging group identities with strong social cohesion, consistent with patterns observed in other archaeological evidence from the area. The second paper explores how the Preclassic Hohokam (A.D. 475-1150) of the Tucson Basin created different pathways to personhood for the dead. This consisted of examining how bodies were treated within cremation practices at four recently excavated Tucson Basin Hohokam archaeological sites and through consideration of different ethnographic accounts of cremation practices among Native American groups from the Southwestern United States. Historical accounts of cremation practices utilized in this work originate from the Pima (Akimel O'odham), Tohono O'odham, and several Yuman-speaking groups. Based on archaeological and linguistic evidence, the ancestors of these historic groups had ancestral connections with the Hohokam. Results of my research suggest dynamic transitions of personhood occurred at death while these transitions occurred both with the dead as well as the living. Subsequent to the cremation pyre bodies were transformed into "body-objects" and continued to evoke memories of the deceased person's life. Furthermore, at these events mutually-identifying relationships were created, transformed or destroyed through interactions of the community, family and deceased. The third paper examines the identification of and changes in aspects of personhood among the Tucson Basin Hohokam from the Preclassic (A.D. 475-1150) to Classic periods (A.D. 1150-1450/1500). This is done by examining the biological profile, posthumous treatment of the body and mortuary practices of remains of 764 individuals from seven sites. Cremation was the predominant mortuary practice in the Tucson Basin during the Preclassic and Classic periods. However, inhumation also co-occurred at lower frequencies, particularly for fetus and infants, possibly due to the undeveloped form of self that these individuals had within the society. Through time cremation rituals changed particularly for individuals older than 15 years at death and adults. In the Preclassic Period, after the body was burned, the remains were fragmented, divided and distributed as inalienable possessions among families and within specific networks. This suggests a social construction of self that was more relational, part-person and part-object. In the Classic Period, these practices decreased and the remains were not divided but left in place or transferred almost wholly to a single secondary deposit. The perceptions of personhood in the Classic Period changed to a self that was considered as bounded units and more-whole even after its transformation during the cremation fire. It is possible that this transition through time occurred as a result of more centralized and private rituals, and by a general decrease in emotive networks. The changes in mortuary rituals are similar to broader sociopolitical changes observed in the Classic Period where an increase in social differentiation and complexity has been postulated.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Arizona; Cremation; Hohokam; Mortuary practices; Personhood; Anthropology; American Southwest
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Mills, Barbara J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleUnpacking Personhood and Identity in the Hohokam Area of Southern Arizonaen_US
dc.creatorCerezo-Román, Jessica Inésen_US
dc.contributor.authorCerezo-Román, Jessica Inésen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
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.releaseRelease 09-Jan-2016en_US
dc.description.abstractMy research centers on changes in personhood, identity and funerary rituals from the Early Agricultural Period to the Classic Period in the Tucson Basin. The three core papers of my dissertation represent submissions to peer-review journals or book chapters, all of which are connected by similar research themes. The first paper examines changes in funerary rituals from the Early Agricultural Period (2100 B.C.-A.D. 50 ) to the Early Preclassic Period (A.D. 475-750) and how these changes modified social relationships between the dead, their families and the community. A total of 21 archaeological sites and 436 burials were analyzed. The predominant mortuary rituals in the Early Agricultural Period were inhumations characterized by variations in body position and location, possibly emphasizing individuality. These rituals changed in the Preclassic Period as cremation became the dominant practice. Cremations during this period were mainly secondary deposits with low quantities of bone located in cemeteries within habitation courtyard groups. Social group membership was emphasized through these cremations. Results suggest that triggers for changes in funerary rituals through time were multicausal, but these changes are reflective of emerging group identities with strong social cohesion, consistent with patterns observed in other archaeological evidence from the area. The second paper explores how the Preclassic Hohokam (A.D. 475-1150) of the Tucson Basin created different pathways to personhood for the dead. This consisted of examining how bodies were treated within cremation practices at four recently excavated Tucson Basin Hohokam archaeological sites and through consideration of different ethnographic accounts of cremation practices among Native American groups from the Southwestern United States. Historical accounts of cremation practices utilized in this work originate from the Pima (Akimel O'odham), Tohono O'odham, and several Yuman-speaking groups. Based on archaeological and linguistic evidence, the ancestors of these historic groups had ancestral connections with the Hohokam. Results of my research suggest dynamic transitions of personhood occurred at death while these transitions occurred both with the dead as well as the living. Subsequent to the cremation pyre bodies were transformed into "body-objects" and continued to evoke memories of the deceased person's life. Furthermore, at these events mutually-identifying relationships were created, transformed or destroyed through interactions of the community, family and deceased. The third paper examines the identification of and changes in aspects of personhood among the Tucson Basin Hohokam from the Preclassic (A.D. 475-1150) to Classic periods (A.D. 1150-1450/1500). This is done by examining the biological profile, posthumous treatment of the body and mortuary practices of remains of 764 individuals from seven sites. Cremation was the predominant mortuary practice in the Tucson Basin during the Preclassic and Classic periods. However, inhumation also co-occurred at lower frequencies, particularly for fetus and infants, possibly due to the undeveloped form of self that these individuals had within the society. Through time cremation rituals changed particularly for individuals older than 15 years at death and adults. In the Preclassic Period, after the body was burned, the remains were fragmented, divided and distributed as inalienable possessions among families and within specific networks. This suggests a social construction of self that was more relational, part-person and part-object. In the Classic Period, these practices decreased and the remains were not divided but left in place or transferred almost wholly to a single secondary deposit. The perceptions of personhood in the Classic Period changed to a self that was considered as bounded units and more-whole even after its transformation during the cremation fire. It is possible that this transition through time occurred as a result of more centralized and private rituals, and by a general decrease in emotive networks. The changes in mortuary rituals are similar to broader sociopolitical changes observed in the Classic Period where an increase in social differentiation and complexity has been postulated.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectArizonaen_US
dc.subjectCremationen_US
dc.subjectHohokamen_US
dc.subjectMortuary practicesen_US
dc.subjectPersonhooden_US
dc.subjectAnthropologyen_US
dc.subjectAmerican Southwesten_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.advisorMills, Barbara J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMills, Barbara J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBuikstra, Janeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFish, Suzanneen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcClelland, Johnen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSheridan, Thomasen_US
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