Trade Relationships and Gene Flow at Pottery Mound, New Mexico

Departmental News

Posted:  Aug 31, 2020 - 12:00pm

Lexi O'Donnell (UNM Alum, 2019), Jana Valesca Meyer (Archaeology Graduate Student, and Corey Ragsdale (UNM Alum, 2015) have published their article Trade Relationships and Gene Flow at Pottery Mound, New Mexico  in American Antiquity. Read the full article here

Abstract:  Pottery Mound is a large Ancestral Puebloan site situated within the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) region of New Mexico. This paper adds to our understanding of relationships between Pottery Mound, the Western Pueblos, and Mexico through use of biological distance analysis based on dental non-metric traits. Extensive material and cultural influences, as well as migration events from Western Pueblos to Pottery Mound have been proposed by several scholars, while others have highlighted parallels to Mexico, especially Paquimé. A total of 1,528 individuals from the Southwest United States and Mexico were used to examine relationships between Pottery Mound and these areas. We find no evidence of close biological similarity between Pottery Mound and the Western Pueblos or Northern Mexico. Instead, the results indicate biological affinity between Pottery Mound and sites in the MRG region and Mogollon areas. This similarity suggests that while there is evidence for trade between Pottery Mound and other sites in the Southwest United States and Mesoamerica, trade may not have been accompanied by significant gene flow from those areas from which the trade goods originated. It is possible that neighboring regions, such as the Mogollon, served as intermediaries for trade between Pottery Mound and distant regions.