Political Landscapes Of Late Prehispanic Sonora: A View From The Moctezuma Valley

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/347230
Title:
Political Landscapes Of Late Prehispanic Sonora: A View From The Moctezuma Valley
Author:
Pailes, Matthew Collin
Issue Date:
2015
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:
This dissertation offers a reformulation of social organization in eastern Sonora from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries based on survey and excavation data collected in the Moctezuma Valley, Sonora, Mexico. Prior researchers, utilizing Spanish exploration era documents, argued for the presence of territorial polities that controlled large sections of river valleys with an elite class supported by the management of long distance trade. Previous archaeological research demonstrated hierarchy in settlement patterns, but differed in interpretations regarding the methods of "elite" ascendance. This dissertation addresses questions of both the scale of political organization and its likely underpinnings. Multiple data sets including artifact style boundaries, settlement pattern analysis, and consideration of ecological parameters demonstrate political organization rarely reached beyond local sections of river valleys. This suggests dozens of locally autonomous settlement communities were present in an area previously argued to contain less than ten political units. Additionally, application of a diverse set of provenance techniques facilitated testing previous hypothesis regarding exchange in the region. The character of regional exchange systems appears to be mostly through down-the-line acquisition, likely orchestrated by aspirant leaders at the level of local settlement communities. These interactions rarely reached beyond near neighbors and excluded some immediately adjacent settlement communities. In contrast, the exchange of mundane ceramics crossed these same boundaries, indicating different segments of society forged incongruous social networks. In summary, these data suggest the region would be a very poor conduit for long distance exchange, most aspirant leaders had only limited access to social valuables, and that the social landscape was sufficiently volatile that most households sought exterior ties as a means of risk reduction. Local warfare in conjunction with demographic and ecological factors are argued to play the predominant roles in generating the political landscape of eastern Sonora. Overall, small scales of political consolidation and minimal hierarchical control characterized the broader region.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Opata; Protohispanic; Rio Sonora; Social Organization; Sonora; Anthropology; Exchange
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Fish, Paul R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titlePolitical Landscapes Of Late Prehispanic Sonora: A View From The Moctezuma Valleyen_US
dc.creatorPailes, Matthew Collinen_US
dc.contributor.authorPailes, Matthew Collinen_US
dc.date.issued2015-
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.abstractThis dissertation offers a reformulation of social organization in eastern Sonora from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries based on survey and excavation data collected in the Moctezuma Valley, Sonora, Mexico. Prior researchers, utilizing Spanish exploration era documents, argued for the presence of territorial polities that controlled large sections of river valleys with an elite class supported by the management of long distance trade. Previous archaeological research demonstrated hierarchy in settlement patterns, but differed in interpretations regarding the methods of "elite" ascendance. This dissertation addresses questions of both the scale of political organization and its likely underpinnings. Multiple data sets including artifact style boundaries, settlement pattern analysis, and consideration of ecological parameters demonstrate political organization rarely reached beyond local sections of river valleys. This suggests dozens of locally autonomous settlement communities were present in an area previously argued to contain less than ten political units. Additionally, application of a diverse set of provenance techniques facilitated testing previous hypothesis regarding exchange in the region. The character of regional exchange systems appears to be mostly through down-the-line acquisition, likely orchestrated by aspirant leaders at the level of local settlement communities. These interactions rarely reached beyond near neighbors and excluded some immediately adjacent settlement communities. In contrast, the exchange of mundane ceramics crossed these same boundaries, indicating different segments of society forged incongruous social networks. In summary, these data suggest the region would be a very poor conduit for long distance exchange, most aspirant leaders had only limited access to social valuables, and that the social landscape was sufficiently volatile that most households sought exterior ties as a means of risk reduction. Local warfare in conjunction with demographic and ecological factors are argued to play the predominant roles in generating the political landscape of eastern Sonora. Overall, small scales of political consolidation and minimal hierarchical control characterized the broader region.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectOpataen_US
dc.subjectProtohispanicen_US
dc.subjectRio Sonoraen_US
dc.subjectSocial Organizationen_US
dc.subjectSonoraen_US
dc.subjectAnthropologyen_US
dc.subjectExchangeen_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, Paul R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFish, Paul R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFish, Suzanne K.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMills, Barbara J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKillick, Daviden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKuhn, Steven L.en_US
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