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122 CHAPTER SIX Settlement Patterns and Residential Differentiation 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 social units, including communities (see Peterson and Drennan 2005 for a recent overview). These analyses have enabled us to look beyond the confines of single sites and explore a burgeoning amount of high-resolution survey data available around the world. At the same time, however, these settlement pattern studies perhaps overprivilege the importance of sites—places where artifacts were deposited and architecture constructed that have then persisted through the ravages of time to be found by archaeologists—in defining ancient social groups over the actual interactions and movements of people that created and maintained the past entities we intend to study. Although places contributed to and partially constrained ancient social organization, they were not in and of themselves generators of communities or other social groups, and thus they cannot be the sole focus of analyses of ancient social organization. To more fully understand the role, and perhaps even lack of a role, of communities and other groups in ancient social life, requires tacking back and forth between various types of data. Studies of some of these data, such as the analyses of temporal patterns of residential movement and pottery distribution presented in the prior two chapters and chapter 7, delineate more dynamic networks of interaction and mobility, while others, such as the settlement pattern study outlined in this chapter, address relatively static places that were Settlement Patterns and Residential Differentiation 123 nodes of activity in a more diffuse, although perhaps more socially significant , cloud of ancient human interactions. In this chapter, I employ many of the traditional methods of settlement pattern analysis but do so with a self-critical eye. As I hope to illustrate , the meaning of many of the spatial patterns that we identify in archaeological survey data are open to varying interpretations even when we are aided by seemingly objective quantitative techniques. The analyses presented here challenge prior comparatively uniform and static models of Cibola community organization through the documentation of a range of variability in multiple parameters, including settlement clustering , chronology, and differentiation. Nearly all of this variability can be explained when the formation of thirteenth-century El Morro settlement systems is contextualized within regional networks of population circulation and contrasted with areas that exhibit markedly different settlement histories. Settlement Clusters in the El Morro Valley The identification of spatial clustering of archaeological sites has been one of the primary means through which archaeologists have defined the spatial and social scale of community organization in the Southwest (Gilpin 2003; Kintigh 2003; Kolb and Snead 1997; Mahoney 2000; Powers et al. 1983; Snead 2008; Varien 1999a; Wilcox 1996). Many Southwest community studies have attempted to define spatial clusters of residential sites that are separated from one another by empty areas and, in doing so, postulate that these groups of settlements were the remains of socially bounded residential communities. In some cases, only large, focal structures , such as great houses, are identified and associated communities are assumed to exist within a standard-sized area, regardless of the actual site distribution. This top-down approach, while often useful in broadbrush regional studies, has encouraged Southwest archaeologists to view communities and settlement patterns in standardized, strongly hierarchical ways (see Gilpin 2003; Kintigh 2003 for discussion of problems in spatial analysis and Adler 2002; Hegmon 2002; Schachner 2008; Varien and Potter 2008b for discussion of theoretical problems). Archaeologists working in the El Morro Valley have long postulated that at least some degree of clustering of settlement existed in the area during the Pueblo III period (LeBlanc 1978; T. Stone 1992; Watson et al. 1980). In some parts of the valley, a number of room blocks were located in close proximity to one another with areas of less dense or no settlement in between. The densest of these clusters, such as Tinaja (fig. 3.10), consist of roughly 10–15 room blocks all located within tens of meters of 124 population circulation and zuni communities one another. As most Pueblo III period room blocks in the El Morro Valley were contemporaneous, at least in a classificatory sense, it is reasonable to assume that these clusters represent social units of some sort, especially if one begins with...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816599554
Related ISBN
9780816529865
MARC Record
OCLC
828490578
Pages
208
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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