Bioarchaeology of labor and gender in the prehispanic American Southwest
AuthorPerry, Elizabeth Marie
AdvisorMills, Barbara J.
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.
AbstractThe sexual division of labor permeated many aspects of social life in the Greater Southwest, including household activities, communal events, and ceremonial rituals. It is proposed that sexual divisions in labor were particularly meaningful during the Pueblo IV period (A.D. 1275-1600). This project tests the proposition that archaeologically and ethnographically documented sex-based differences in habitual labor are reflected on the human skeleton. Human skeletal remains from Grasshopper Pueblo, a large Ancestral Puebloan village in east-central Arizona occupied during the Pueblo IV period, are examined for evidence of sexual differences in the expression of musculo-skeletal stress markers (MSMs). These stress markers occur at musculoskeletal origin and insertion points as a result of bone remodeling in response to repetitive motion, which results in a distinctive skeletal feature. Analysis is concentrated on those areas of the bones of the upper limb (clavicles, humeri, radii, ulnae, and metacarpals) where muscles, ligaments, and tendons originate from or insert onto the periosteum. Patterning of adult skeletal MSMs is considered one indicator of labor organization within populations. The degree to which the nature and intensity of labor is structured along sexual lines reflects the operation of social power. Aspects of the relationship between labor differentiation and social power are manifested archaeologically in the material remains of activities such as hunting, weaving, food processing and production, and ceramic manufacture. Testing the degree to which such labor differentially impacted the skeletal bodies of men and women in this Ancestral Puebloan community can substantiate conclusions regarding sex roles derived from other categories of evidence. In this study, skeletal evidence forms the basis of a model of the operation of social power in the construction of sex, gender, and status in the North American Southwest.
Degree ProgramGraduate College