Between Casas Grandes and Salado: Community Formation and Interaction at the Pendleton Ruin Site in the Borderlands of the American Southwest/Northwest, AD 1200-1450
Posted: Feb 23, 2021 - 12:00pm
Thatcher Rogers, Archaeology graduate student, has been awarded a Carryl B. Martin Research Award from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society for his project Between Casas Grandes and Salado: Community Formation and Interaction at the Pendleton Ruin Site in the Borderlands of the American Southwest/Northwest, AD 1200-1450. The award will provide funding to support his dissertation research.
How do societies living on the edges of more complexly organized groups engage with the material culture of these groups and, by extension, with the groups themselves? Around the globe, the expansion of complex societies into adjacent areas has resulted in substantial, long-term impacts through processes such as colonization and globalization. Previous research has explored these processes through a focus on how cultural cores engage with adjacent areas. Yet, choices by inhabitants within these peripheral areas on how to interact with one or more cultural cores may provide key insights into identity formation in borderland regions. By understanding how past borderland groups engaged materially with cultural cores, this project contributes to ongoing discussions of the relationship between social identity and cultural heritage in borderland regions. This project investigates these questions at the Pendleton Ruin site, a large Animas phase (AD 1200-1450) community in far southwestern New Mexico. Using physical and geochemical analysis of ceramic artifacts, radiocarbon dating, and settlement-based architectural and mortuary analyses, I will evaluate four different models of edge regions and assess changes over time at the Pendleton Ruin site. I will employ Bayesian statistical modeling to improve the radiocarbon dates and establish a robust chronology for individual roomblock compounds at the site to understand how local inhabitants responded to the establishment of a sociopolitically complex polity. In so doing, this project will improve narratives for the ancient American Southwest/Northwest Mexico region by connecting processes along and south of the United States-Mexico International Border to concurrent and better studied regions of the American Southwest.