Prehistoric Economies in Middle-range Societies: Papers in Honor of Katherine Spielmann

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

This symposium honors the scholarly contributions of Katherine Spielmann to the field of archaeology. Mirroring Dr. Spielmann's research interests, this symposium focuses on prehistoric economies in smaller-scale and middle-range societies, primarily in North America. Former students examine a variety of topics on this subject, including the processes underlying economic intensification, the role of feasting and ritual in small-scale economies, and the variety of conditions under which small-scale and middle-range societies with relatively non-complex political systems develop complex, specialized economies and systems of exchange. Reflecting Dr. Spielmann’s interest in human-ecosystem interaction, papers also investigate the long-term ecological changes that resulted from settlement by relatively sedentary farmers in particular environments. The overarching goal is to highlight both the interconnectedness of these themes and the positive impact of Dr. Spielmann’s ideas and research on her students and the discipline as a whole.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Feasting and the Ritual Mode of Production in the Mesa Verde Region of the American Southwest (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Potter.

    In the Southwest, feasting is understood as one of the primary mechanisms whereby small-scale agriculturalists of the past increased the social, demographic, and political scale of their societies. This study examines both artifact assemblages and communal architecture from a number of prehistoric sites in the Mesa Verde area. Consistent increases in the number and elaborateness of decorated serving bowls and the size of communal spaces suggest an increase in the frequency, intensity, and scale...

  • From Hohokam Archaeology to Narratives of the Ancient Hawaiian ‘State’ (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Bayman.

    The analysis of material correlates to interpret cross-cultural variation in ancient political economies is a conventional and time-honored tradition in world archaeology. The material correlates that archaeologists use to gauge degrees of social stratification include evidence of subsistence intensification, hierarchical settlement patterns, craft specialization, large-scale monumentality, and differentiated mortuary programs. Ironically, recent claims for the rise of ancient states in the...

  • Household and Political Economy in Ancient Hohokam Society (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William Graves.

    Examining household-level economic behaviors has long been a means for archaeologists to explore social and political organization in ancient Hohokam society. In this presentation, I reflect on the training and influence of Katherine Spielmann in my thinking about the economic roots of inequality in small- scale societies and begin to outline an explicitly political-economic framework to explore the structure and bases of power among the Hohokam of southern Arizona. The Hohokam household was the...

  • Kinship and the Self-Organization of Exchange in Small-Scale Societies (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only James Allison.

    Circulation of material goods is common in small-scale societies. Even where exchange is not coordinated above the level of the household, goods produced in one area are consistently conveyed to distant settlements. Numerous ethnographic studies demonstrate that exchange transactions are common among kin, and that the circulation of goods in small-scale societies is structured by kinship ties. From an individual’s point of view, the number of kinfolk available to exchange with and where they...

  • Landscape Legacies in Central Arizona: Archaeologists and Ecologists Working Together (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Melissa Kruse-Peeples.

    Archaeologists have long used environmental data to reconstruct the past. Recently, environmental scientists have come to realize the value of incorporating archaeological viewpoints in understanding modern ecological systems. It has been shown that human activities, even those that are relatively non-intensive, have the potential to result in long-lasting ecological transformations. Cross-disciplinary alliances between archaeologists and environmental scientists are necessary if we are to...

  • Measuring Risk to Food Security in the Prehispanic U.S. Southwest: The Salinas Region in the Broader Southwest World (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Colleen Strawhacker. Grant Snitker. Keith Kintigh. Ann Kinzig. Katherine Spielmann.

    Marginal environments present risks to food shortfall to prehistoric small-scale societies, which create and rely on social and environmental strategies to mitigate those risks. One piece to understanding the vulnerability to failing to produce enough food is defining the risk factors that may limit food procurement on a given landscape – in our case, the U.S Southwest. Using large archaeological, historical, and ecological datasets, our main risk to food production – growing season...

  • The Production and Exchange of Chupadero Black-on-white Pottery and Its Relationship to Social Identity (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tiffany Clark.

    Produced between A.D. 1150 and 1550, Chupadero Black‐on‐white pottery is found throughout central and southern New Mexico, and adjacent parts of Texas, Arizona, and Chihuahua, Mexico. Despite its widespread distribution, chemical and mineralogical compositional data indicate that the pottery was manufactured in only two areas of central New Mexico – the Jumanos portion of the Salinas province and Sierra Blanca region. Distributional studies indicate that the Chupadero pottery produced in the two...

  • Rio Grande Glaze Ware Knowledgescapes (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Deborah Huntley. Cynthia Herhahn.

    Research by Katherine Spielmann and many of her students highlights the economic and social significance of glaze-decorated ware vessels during the 14th through 16th centuries AD. We take a new approach to Rio Grande Glaze Ware in this paper, examining the role of knowledgescapes in structuring economy in Ancestral Pueblo middle-range societies. Knowledgescapes encompass economic, social, technological, and ritual aspects of glaze ware production, use and exchange. We explore the origins and...

  • Ritual and Feasting in the Field: The Role of Theoretically Informed Practice In Creating Resilience within the Archaeological Field Crew (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alison Rautman.

    Katherine Spielmann has contributed to the scholarly literature on ritual and feasting, the archaeology of sustainable and resilient societies, and long-term economic and social changes in archaeological record of the Salinas region in central New Mexico. Less well known, however, are her long-term contributions to the performance dimensions of these models. In fact, her theoretically informed archaeological practices, implemented in the context of the undergraduate field school, illustrate the...

  • Women's Mobility and Inter-Pueblo Exchange in the Salinas area, AD 1100–1300 (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Chamberlin.

    Katherine Spielmann's work in the Salinas Pueblo area of New Mexico has, among other things, emphasized how ritual and economic interconnectivity among late prehistoric pueblo villages articulates with internal social and cultural changes. One thread of this work, developed by several of her students, has been change in gender relations during the rise of the large towns of the Pueblo IV period (AD 1400–1600), especially involving women's roles in exchange, production, and ceremonial life....