Disappearance and Diaspora

Jeffery J. Clark

in Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036076
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041780 | DOI:
Disappearance and Diaspora

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This chapter presents a two-step methodology in studying archaeological migration that examines scale/occurrence and impact as independent variables. Late prehistoric (ad 1200–1450) movements of ancestral Pueblo households into the San Pedro Valley of southern Arizona provide ideal case studies for examining small-scale migrations in areas with established populations. This 250-year interval can be subdivided into four “snapshots,” allowing archaeologists to study settlements before, during, and after migration. The first step focuses on locating migrant and indigenous settlements using domestic material culture. Once this has been accomplished, more conspicuous forms of material culture are examined to assess the social and economic impact of migration on both groups. At least two distinct migrations can be discerned in the San Pedro Valley; one from the nearby Mogollon Highlands and the other from the more distant Kayenta Region in northeastern Arizona. Although similar in scale, each migration had a dramatically different impact on local irrigation communities. Migrants from the Mogollon Highlands were assimilated into settlements and their archaeological visibility is greatly diminished within a generation or two after their arrival. Kayenta groups remained segregated from local populations and attempted to recreate the domestic and ritual lives of their homelands in their new environment. These migrants were a powerful minority, radically altering the trajectory of local communities. Ultimately, a hybrid identity formed that included both Kayenta and local elements.

Keywords: migration; U.S. Southwest; archaeology; San Pedro Valley; Arizona

Chapter.  6785 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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