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Marking and Making Differences: Representational Diversity in the U.S. Southwest

  • Michelle Hegmon (a1), Jacob Freeman (a2), Keith W. Kintigh (a1), Margaret C. Nelson (a1), Sarah Oas (a1), Matthew A. Peeples (a1) and Andrea Torvinen (a1)...


Diversity is generally valued, although it sometimes contributes to difficult social situations, as is recognized in recent social science literature. Archaeology can provide insights into how diverse social situations play out over the long term. There are many kinds of diversities, and we propose representational diversity as a distinct category. Representational diversity specifically concerns how and whether differences are marked or masked materially. We investigate several archaeological sequences in the U.S. Southwest. Each began with the coming together of populations that created situations of unprecedented social diversity; some resulted in conflict, others in long-term stability. We trace how representational diversity changed through these sequences. Specifically, we review the transregional Kayenta migration to the southern Southwest and focus empirical analyses on regional processes in the Cibola region and on painted ceramics. Results show that, initially, representational diversity increased above and beyond that caused by the combination of previously separate traditions as people marked their differences. Subsequently, in some instances, the diversity was replaced by widespread homogeneity as the differences were masked and mitigated. Although the social causes and effects of diversity are many and varied, long-term stability and persistence is associated with tolerance of a range of diversities.

La diversidad es generalmente apreciada, aunque algunas veces contribuye a situaciones sociales difíciles, como se reconoce en recientes publicaciones de las ciencias sociales. La arqueología puede ayudar a entender como las situaciones sociales diversas se manifiestan a largo plazo. Existen muchos tipos de diversidades y proponemos la diversidad figurativa como una categoría distintiva. La diversidad figurativa se refiere específicamente a si esas diferencias están materialmente marcadas o enmascaradas, y de que manera. Investigamos varias secuencias arqueológicas en el Suroeste de los Estados Unidos. Cada una se inicia con la agregación de poblaciones que crearon situaciones de diversidad social sin precedente; algunas resultaron en conflicto, otras en una estabilidad a largo plazo. Rastreamos como cambió la diversidad figurativa a través de esas secuencias. Específicamente, revisamos la migración transregional Kayenta hacia el sur del Suroeste y enfocamos análisis empíricos sobre los procesos regionales en la región Cibola y las cerámicas pintadas. Los resultados muestran que, inicialmente la diversidad figurativa se incrementó mucho más allá que la causada por la combinación de tradiciones separadas previas ya que la gente marcó sus diferencias. Subsecuentemente, en algunas instancias, la diversidad se reemplazó por una homogeneidad extendida ya que las diferencias fueron enmascaradas y mitigadas. Aunque las causas y efectos sociales de la diversidad son muchas y variadas, la estabilidad y persistencia a largo plazo se asocia con la tolerancia de un rango de diversidades.


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