Ancestors and Elites: Emergent Complexity and Ritual by Gordon F. M. Rakita

By Gordon F. M. Rakita

Ancestors and Elites examines the connection among emergent social complexity and altering ritual practices on the prehispanic web site of PaquimZ, Chihuahua, Mexico.

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Additional resources for Ancestors and Elites: Emergent Complexity and Ritual Practices in the Casas Grandes Polity (Archaeology of Religion)

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3 percent during the Viejo). This change in resource procurement may represent an increased reliance on garden hunting in and around fields or hunting in the foothills of mountains, since these are preferred habitats for jackrabbits and deer. A similar conclusion has been reached by Hodgetts (1996) for the El Zurdo site, a Medio period settlement in the Babicora basin to the south. However, at least one site within the region, the Villa Ahumada site on the eastern edge of the Casas Grandes region, has provided potential evidence for large-scale hunting of lepus species.

This is not to suggest that the region was completely abandoned. Some peoples probably occupied the area. However, it seems reasonable to conclude that their occupations were not as large and did not have the same impact upon the archaeological record as the Medio period ones. Sometime prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the region around the Río Casas Grandes became the homeland for a number of ethnohistorically documented tribes; minimally, these included the Jova, Jano, and Jocome, as well as the seminomadic Suma, Jumano, and Chinarra groups.

Facing and orientation of the deceased, as with the Convento phase, were variable. All individuals were flexed either on their left or right side, though four were placed in a supine position. Arms were most often crossed over the torso; however, some were placed at the sides of the body. Of these twenty-five individuals, thirteen were adults, and twelve were juveniles; three were male, six were female, and sixteen were of unknown sex. Burials of this phase are the first in the period to include grave goods.

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