Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Raiding For Women? Female Remains In Graveyards Reflect War In Pre-Hispanic New Mexico

Date:
November 12, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
An important new archaeological study from the December issue of Current Anthropology is the first to document interregional movement of women in the pre-Hispanic Southwest. Using an analysis of grave sites, the researchers found more female remains during periods of political influence, providing an interesting insight into the ways warfare may contribute the local archaeological record.

A portion of the large 12th and 13th-century A.D. site of Aztec, near the contemporary town of Aztec, New Mexico.
Credit: Courtesy: Tim Kohler

An important new archaeological study from the December issue of Current Anthropology is the first to document interregional movement of women in the pre-Hispanic Southwest. Using an analysis of grave sites, the researchers found more female remains during periods of political influence, providing an interesting insight into the ways warfare may contribute the local archaeological record.

Related Articles


"Warfare is common in small- and intermediate-scale societies all over the world, now and in prehistory. Capturing women was often either a goal, or a by-product, of such conflict," says archaeologist Tim Kohler (Washington State University), who authored the study with Kathryn Kramer Turner (U.S. Forest Service).

Analyzing data on 1,353 human remains from grave sites, Kohler and Kramer Turner found unexpectedly high ratios of female-to-male remains in the majestic 11th-century ruins in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and a related 13th-century site to the north called Aztec, which are among the most famous pre-Hispanic sites in North America.

The researchers note that many sites from the same time period in the Mesa Verde region in Southwest Colorado -- just north of the Aztec site -- contain fewer women than they should. This imbalance may be the result of non-coercive movement, such as women migrating toward elites or the recruitment of women as specialized producers of prized items, such as jewelry or pottery. However, the apparent excesses of women coincide with a period of high young adult mortality, which indicates violence.

"Given the mirror symmetry of their sex ratios in the 1200s and the elevated death rates among young people in both areas, we suggest that societies in the Totah (which encompasses the Aztec site) obtained these women from Northern San Juan societies to the northwest through raiding and abduction," write the authors.

Excavations near the site of Aztec also revealed that some women in the Aztec's region were not buried in the usual respectful manner. Many of the women's remains also bear marks of abuse.

Sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Current Anthropology is a transnational journal devoted to research on humankind, encompassing the full range of anthropological scholarship on human cultures and on the human and other primate species. Communicating across the subfields, the journal features papers in a wide variety of areas, including social, cultural, and physical anthropology as well as ethnology and ethnohistory, archaeology and prehistory, folklore, and linguistics. For more information, see: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CA

Timothy A. Kohler and Kathryn Kramer Turner. "Raiding for Women in the Pre-Hispanic Northern Pueblo Southwest?" Current Anthropology 47:6.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Raiding For Women? Female Remains In Graveyards Reflect War In Pre-Hispanic New Mexico." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112094745.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, November 12). Raiding For Women? Female Remains In Graveyards Reflect War In Pre-Hispanic New Mexico. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112094745.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Raiding For Women? Female Remains In Graveyards Reflect War In Pre-Hispanic New Mexico." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061112094745.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — U-576, a long-lost German U-boat the U.S. sank in 1942, has been found just 30 miles off North Carolina's coast and near the wreckage of another ship. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — After testing DNA from a shawl found near one of Jack the Ripper's victims, a scientist said he'd identified the killer. New reports refute the claim. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins