A Temporal Perspective on Late Prehistoric Societies in the Western Cibola Area: Factor Analytic Approches to Short-term Chronological Investigation

Author(s): William Marquardt

Year: 1974


This paper has presented background information on the Cibola area, especially the El Morro Valley, and reasons for the investigation have been stated in terms of descriptive, methodological, and theoretical goals. Chapter 2 included descriptions of the research strategies of the Cibola Archeological Research Project and "accounts of the field investigations carried out in 1972 and 1973.

In chapter 3 the focus turned to the painted ceramic materials found by the Cibola Project. The pottery was narratively discussed, and the results of several descriptive statistical analyses were

reported. Time-sensitive dimensions of variability were differentiated from other sources of variability by the use of an R~ode components factor analysis. The procedure was exemplified by application to well-behaved ~tificial data before being used to apprehend the temporal dimensions of variability among the Cibola painted ceramics.

In chapter 4 a number of seriation techniques were discussed and contrasted in terms of their major advantages and disadvantages. A new Q-mode components factor analytic approach to seriation was introduced. It was shown that the new technique produced good results when applied both to well-behaved artificial data and to the data from 50 Cibola stratigraphic excavation units. It was suggested that the vector model basic to factor analysis is a more appropriate approach

to the practical problem of chronological seriation in archeology than techniques based on the preservation of rank-order. It was argued that the combined R-mode and Q-mode factor analytic method of chronological seriation is appropriate to what Irving Rouse has termed "development seriation" as long as the domain of generalization is suitably delineated in time and space. Finally, it was argued that recognition of the practical difference between ideal models and empirical investigation is important to productive operationalization of research strategies.

Chapter 5 was devoted to considerations of anthropological app~oaches to the study of culture change by archeologists. It was argued that although culture change is a continuous process, a

multisynchronous methodology is an entirely appropriate means for investigating it. Both technical refinement and dedication to generalizing goals are necessary for methodological improvement,

however. While there is no logical difference between investigations of change through time in physics and in archeology, practical problems are the difficulty of comparable replication and the quandary of separating human culture change from the environment in which it occurs. It was argued that concepts from "systems theory" are helpful in bounding the domain of generalization and in describing the processes of culture change. A normative view of culture is as important as a systemic view of culture if generalizations about culture change are to replace simple systemic descriptions. Both change and continuity are important in the study of human adaptation. Also, the tolerance of particular subsystems is important information in both descriptive and analytic phases of the investigation of culture change. Cultural perceptions limit environmental possibilities.

With these concepts in mind, a descriptive systemic model for the EI Morro Valley was constructed.

Cite this Record

A Temporal Perspective on Late Prehistoric Societies in the Western Cibola Area: Factor Analytic Approches to Short-term Chronological Investigation. William Marquardt. . Washington University, Anthropology. 1974 ( tDAR id: 374642) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8RF5T4G

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Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1225 to 1350 (Tree Ring Evidence)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -108.476; min lat: 35.031 ; max long: -108.236; max lat: 35.174 ;

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