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Multiscalar Perspectives on Social Networks in the Late Prehispanic Southwest

  • Barbara J. Mills (a1), Matthew A. Peeples (a2), W. Randall Haas (a3), Lewis Borck (a1), Jeffery J. Clark (a2) and John M. Roberts (a4)...


Analyzing historical trajectories of social interactions at varying scales can lead to complementary interpretations of relationships among archaeological settlements. We use social network analysis combined with geographic information systems at three spatial scales over time in the western U.S. Southwest to show how the same social processes affected network dynamics at each scale. The period we address, A.D. 1200–1450, was characterized by migration and demographic upheaval. The tumultuous late thirteenth-century interval was followed by population coalescence and the development of widespread religious movements in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the southern Southwest these processes resulted in a highly connected network that drew in members of different settlements within and between different valleys that had previously been distinct. In the northern Southwest networks were initially highly connected followed by a more fragmented social landscape. We examine how different network textures emerged at each scale through 50-year snapshots. The results demonstrate the usefulness of applying a multiscalar approach to complex historical trajectories and the potential for social network analysis as applied to archaeological data.

El análisis multi-escalar de interacciones sociales y sus trayectorias históricas pueden producir interpretaciones complementarias acerca de las relaciones entre asentamientos arqueológicos. Utilizamos el análisis de redes sociales en combinación con sistemas de información geográfica mediante tres escalas espaciales a través del tiempo en el oeste de la región del Suroeste Norteamericano para demonstrar cómo procesos sociales similares afectaron la dinámica de redes en cada escala. El período de interés, A.D. 1200–1450, se caracterizó por la migración y el desorden demográfico. El tumultuoso siglo trece fue seguido por la coalescencia de poblaciones diversas y por el desarrollo de extensos movimientos religiosos en los siglos catorce y quince. En el Suroeste meridional estos procesos resultaron en una red altamente conectada que atrajo miembros de diferentes asentamientos dentro y entre diferentes valles que habían sido previamente diferenciados. En el Suroeste septentrional las redes inicialmente estuvieron muy conectadas pero fueron sucedidas por un paisaje social fragmentario. Finalmente, examinamos cómo diferentes texturas de redes emergieron en cada escala en períodos de 50 años. Los resultados demuestran la utilidad del análisis multi-escalar para investigar trayectorias históricas complejas y el potencial del análisis de redes sociales para el estudio de datos arqueológicos.



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Multiscalar Perspectives on Social Networks in the Late Prehispanic Southwest

  • Barbara J. Mills (a1), Matthew A. Peeples (a2), W. Randall Haas (a3), Lewis Borck (a1), Jeffery J. Clark (a2) and John M. Roberts (a4)...


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