restricted access 11. How Paquimé Went from Trading Center to Shrine
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176 11 How Paquimé Went from Trading Center to Shrine Jane Holden Kelley As Miriam Stark (1992:55) reminded us a quarter-­ century ago, “Archaeology is shaped by social and economic forces that affect every aspect of research, and we must understand the nature of these factors that affect the production of archaeological knowledge.” Throughout my professional life I have been intrigued by questions about the doing of archaeology. These queries fall into the categories of philosophy and historiography or intellectual history. Why do archaeologists believe what they do? Why do they select the problems they do? How do they marshal evidence to support their inferences? What governs the choice of analogies? How do social, economic, and political factors influence the doing of archaeology? Can we recognize the influence of our (inevitable) biases and, mini­ mally, indicate those we see? One expression of these interests can be found in Archaeology and the Methodology of Science (1988), which I coauthored with philosopher of science ­Marsha Hanen — ​ a book primarily intended as a commentary on the acceptance of positivism by processual archaeologists but not published until the general debate had moved to post-­ processualism, so largely ignored. However, it contains discussions of other issues that affect the doing of archaeology, such as recruitment patterns (especially Chapter 4, “The Social Context of Archaeology”). I have also looked at gender issues in contemporary archaeology (Hanen and Kelley 1992; Hill and Kelley 1991). I continue to think about where and when people were trained, who pays attention to whom, and the relevance of individuals’ gener­ ational cohorts, prior research interests, and employment settings. Other concerns involve the importance of prior research history within the area, starting points for research, and what might be called the malleability or selectivity of archaeological information (in the sense that different theoretical constructs can draw support from the same data). Perhaps most important, how do we support our inferences on the bumpy road to confirmation? People can jump into things feet first, but how do they make choices about their next direction? What is the effect of unexpected or new data on working hypotheses? Why do we want to explain what we do? Clearly, we want to create insights that hang together. To what extent do we mold or emphasize or play down data to fit a paradigm or approach? There may be places where accounts have been stable for 50 years. Why do some inferences experience slower or less change with or without the addition of new data? What body of literature does a researcher control? Are we using a common vocabulary? Do words mean the same thing to different researchers? In part, my explorations in this chapter try to identify biases of which we may be unaware — ​ a topic on which others have written. Tainter (2008, 2016), for example, makes two important points as he examines theories of collapse: they How Paquimé Went from Trading Center to Shrine 177 reflect the concerns of the cultures that spawn the accounts, and some terminology (such as Preclassic, Classic, Terminal Classic, and Postclassic ) expresses biases about the state of the culture. This being the case, I need to present some of my own biases (see also Kelley 1992). Perhaps most relevant in the present context is the question of human mobility. I see people as having the capacity to be quite mobile  — ​a perception undoubtedly influenced by my personal history. Not only was I shifted between the different residences of my extended family following the death of my mother, but I also witnessed people abandoning the Great Plains during the drought of the 1930s (some of them drove by my grandmother’s farm with mattresses tied to the tops of their cars, and lone men came to her house looking for work and food). In my MA program I encountered J. Charles Kelley, who was deeply interested in relationships between Mesoamerica and the Southwest. Later, his article on Juan Sabeata (Kelley 1955) made a deep impression on me. At the time, Alex Krieger, also in Austin, was musing about how Mesoamerican traits had jumped past “the Gilmore Corridor” (Krieger 1948) to the Caddoan and Mississippian areas. In short, although my work often had an area-­ specific orientation, my background tendency was always to look for broader relationships , usually through the comparative method. On a quite different topic, I spent two years as a boarder in a Catholic convent school, living with women for whom religion was a pillar of their existence...


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