Migration and Mobility in the New World
Migration has long been considered a major topic within archaeology due to its focus on the relationship between people, objects, space, and time. In more recent years significant advances in computer modeling, biomolecular methods, and other tools often used in archaeology have allowed researchers to explore new facets of prehistoric migrations and mobility. In this symposium, we will explore the various methods archaeologists utilize to examine migration and mobility in a variety of different environments, ranging from small islands to broader continental regions. Potential topics are diverse and will encompass a range of methodological approaches and case studies—from biomolecular analyses of bone to agent-based modeling. The overall goal is to present how these approaches can be used individually or in tandem to explore motivating factors, consequences, and trajectories of prehistoric human movement.
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Assessing Mobility and Social Interactions through Integrated Analyses of Complicated Stamped Pottery in the American Southeast (2015)Citation DOCUMENT
In the Deep South of the American Southeast, regional scale social interactions burgeoned alongside the growth of nucleated villages, widespread mound-building projects, and conspicuous mortuary ceremonialism during the Middle and Late Woodland period (ca. AD 100 to 800). A premier material for understanding the significance of social interactions across the southern landscape comes from Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery, a ubiquitous class of material culture that provides direct evidence...
During the mid-nineteenth century, Chinese and many other immigrants flooded California’s shores in pursuit of economic opportunities. Over the next several decades, Chinese labor became threatening to national, Euro-American interests and federal and state governments passed a variety of taxes, ordinances, and legislation targeting Chinese communities. The most restrictive of these were the Chinese Exclusion and Geary acts, which barred immigration by Chinese laborers and severely limited their...
As obligate tool users, humans habitually reconfigure material-resource distributions. It is proposed here that such resource restructuring may have played an important role in shaping hunter-gatherer mobility decisions and the emergent macro-structure of settlement patterns. This paper presents a model of hunter-gatherer mobility in which modifications of places, including the deposition of cultural materials, bias future mobility decisions. With the aid of an agent-based model, this simple...
Pre-Columbian Human Mobility and Interaction in the Caribbean: A Zooarchaeological and Ancient DNA Study of Guinea Pigs (2015)Citation DOCUMENT
Current zooarchaeological records indicate that humans introduced domestic guinea pig from South America to the Caribbean islands around AD 600. Using zooarchaeological and ancient DNA datasets from domestic guinea pig remains in the Caribbean, we address human mobility and interaction between the islands of the Caribbean and South America during the second half of the Ceramic Age (ca. AD 600-1500). We present new data regarding the continental origins of pre-Columbian guinea pig in the...
Prehistoric Population Mobility in the Caribbean: Genetic and Isotopic Investigations at Grand Bay, Carriacou, West Indies (2015)Citation DOCUMENT
Archaeological research at Grand Bay, a large Late Ceramic Age (ca. AD 400-1300) Amerindian village site on Carriacou in the southern Caribbean, has revealed vast amounts of evidence that sheds light on Pre-Columbian adaptations to small island environments. More than a decade of research here and at other locations on Carriacou have revealed dozens of human burials, including many found in mortuary contexts rarely seen in this part of the Lesser Antilles. Ongoing research on past lifeways of...
The Relationship between Violence and Geographic Origins at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico: Preliminary Results from Strontium Isotope Analyses (2015)Citation DOCUMENT
Casas Grandes, also known as Paquimé, was one of the largest and most complex societies in prehistoric northern Mexico, with established trade networks and social influences from Mesoamerica, the American Southwest, and western Mexico. Analyses of the human skeletal remains from Casas Grandes have found evidence for interpersonal conflict, human sacrifice, and cannibalism during the Medio period (ca. 1200-1450 AD), which coincides with increasing sociopolitical complexity and emerging social...