Ancestral Relations and Late Prehispanic Dynamics between the Mimbres and Casas Grandes Cultures of the American Southwest/Mexican Northwest Region
Posted: Nov 22, 2021 - 02:00pm
Thatcher Seltzer-Rogers, PhD candidate in Archaeology, has published Ancestral Relations and Late Prehispanic Dynamics between the Mimbres and Casas Grandes Cultures of the American Southwest/Mexican Northwest Region in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.
Archaeological interpretations for the seemingly sudden introduction of new types of material culture or cultural practice often include attribution to the arrival of a migrant population. In the American Southwest/Mexican Northwest region, one heavily debated migration is that regarding the inhabitants of the Mimbres valley of southwestern New Mexico and their supposed relocation to Paquimé in the Casas Grandes valley, Chihuahua, Mexico. This paper grounds interpretations for and against any such migration within broader anthropological studies of migration, as well as a systematic evaluation of all lines of evidence employed to support such a substantial population relocation. Whereas genetic data are supportive for population intermingling between the two areas, the cultural data remain ambiguous to oppositional. Consequently, I conclude that although a migration of Mimbres people to the Casas Grandes valley likely occurred, that it was neither as meaningful as has previously been argued nor was it the sole destination area for Mimbres people. Additionally, I situate broader historical trends that characterize late prehispanic southwest New Mexico, northwest Chihuahua, and the borderland region within anthropological theory on migration and culture change and provide new explanations for a dynamic two century period.