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Population Circulation and the Transformation of Ancient Zuni Communities

By Gregson Schachner

Publication Year: 2012

Because nearly all aspects of culture depend on the movement of bodies, objects, and ideas, mobility has been a primary topic during the past forty years of archaeological research on small-scale societies. Most studies have concentrated either on local moves related to subsistence within geographically bounded communities or on migrations between regions resulting from pan-regional social and environmental changes. Gregson Schachner, however, contends that a critical aspect of mobility is the transfer of people, goods, and information within regions. This type of movement, which geographers term "population circulation," is vitally important in defining how both regional social systems and local communities are constituted, maintained, and--most important--changed. <br><br>Schachner analyzes a population shift in the Zuni region of west-central New Mexico during the thirteenth century AD that led to the inception of major demographic changes, the founding of numerous settlements in frontier zones, and the initiation of radical transformations of community organization. Schachner argues that intraregional population circulation played a vital role in shaping social transformation in the region and that many notable changes during this period arose directly out of peoples' attempts to create new social mechanisms for coping with frequent and geographically extensive residential mobility. By examining multiple aspects of population circulation and comparing areas that were newly settled in the thirteenth century to some that had been continuously occupied for hundreds of years, Schachner illustrates the role of population circulation in the formation of social groups and the creation of contexts conducive to social change.

Published by: University of Arizona Press

Title Page, Copyright

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List of Illustrations

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

While writing this book, I received an enormous amount of help and encouragement. This work began a few years ago as a dissertation project at Arizona State University (ASU). My committee, including Keith Kintigh, Michelle Hegmon, Margaret Nelson, and Barbara Stark, provided numerous...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-8

Mobility and community organization have emerged as two central themes in the archaeological study of small-scale farming societies around the world. Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of various forms of mobility, whether daily or seasonal moves to dispersed...

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2. Population Circulation and Community Organization in Small-Scale Agricultural Societies

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pp. 9-32

Geographers, sociologists, and anthropologists coined the term “population circulation” to describe the constant flow of labor migration that arose around colonial cities and extractive facilities in developing countries during the mid-twentieth century (Mitchell 1961; see Chapman and Prothero 1985b). These systems were...

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3. Ancient Zuni Settlement and Community Organization

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pp. 33-63

Ancestral Pueblo residents of the Zuni region were often at the forefront of significant pan-regional changes in settlement patterns and community organization during the late pre-Columbian era (roughly AD 1000–1500). The well-dated archaeological record of this area provides an excellent opportunity to understand how...

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4. Temporal Rhythms of Population Circulation

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pp. 64-88

The temporal rhythms of movement are one of the most difficult parameters of systems of population circulation to measure archaeologically. This problem is particularly troubling due to the importance of understanding timing when modeling the effects of circulation on the long-term formation and composition of...

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5. Geography of Population Circulation

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pp. 89-121

Archaeologists have been more successful at exploring the geography of mobility than perhaps any other parameter of population circulation. The geography of mobility can be defined through many of the traditional methods of archaeology, including settlement pattern analyses and the identification of artifacts that have been...

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6. Settlement Patterns and Residential Differentiation

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pp. 122-156

Analyses of settlement patterns have been by far the most common methodology employed in studies of ancient community organization in the Southwest and beyond. Archaeologists have used a variety of techniques, from simple map production to multivariate quantitative analyses of GIS data sets to identify and define ancient...

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7. Social Interaction Networks

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pp. 157-174

The final piece of my investigation of population circulation and community organization in the thirteenth-century Zuni region is an examination of variability in social interaction networks. Movement and social organization are both fundamentally structured by a variety of interactions among individuals and diverse types...

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8. Population Circulation, Community Formation, and the Transformation of Thirteenth-Century Zuni Society

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pp. 175-203

Drawing on multiple types and scales of evidence, the research discussed in this book builds upon prior studies of mobility, community, and social change to produce a more complete depiction of social process and history in the thirteenth-century Zuni region. In addition to the contribution to regional culture history, this work...


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pp. 205-206


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pp. 207-238


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pp. 239-242

About the Author

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pp. 243

E-ISBN-13: 9780816599554
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816529865

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2012