tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

EMAP (2008) Social Transformation and Its Human Costs in the Prehispanic Southwest

Part of the EMAP - Reports project

Author(s): Michelle Hegmon ; Matthew Peeples ; Ann P. Kinzig ; Stephanie Kulow ; Cathryn Meegan ; Margaret Nelson

Year: 2008

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


Change is inevitable, but some changes and transformations are more dramatic and fraught with suffering than others.

Resilience theory suggests the concept of a “rigidity trap” as an explanation for these differences. In rigidity traps, a high degree of

connectivity and the suppression of innovation prolong an increasingly rigid state, with the result that the eventual transformation

is harsh. Three archaeological cases from the U.S. Southwest (Mimbres, Mesa Verde, and Hohokam) and new methods for assessing

transformations and rigidity are used to evaluate this concept. They reveal the expected association between the severity of transformation

and degree of rigidity, suggesting that a rigidity trap contributed to the Hohokam decline, which included significant human

suffering. Possible causes of rigidity, with implications for today’s world, are explored. [Keywords: U.S. Southwest, archaeology, social

transformation, resilience theory, ecological theory]

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

EMAP (2008) Social Transformation and Its Human Costs in the Prehispanic Southwest. Michelle Hegmon, Matthew Peeples, Ann P. Kinzig, Stephanie Kulow, Cathryn Meegan, Margaret Nelson. American Anthropologist. 110 (3): 313-324. 2008 ( tDAR id: 391377) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CR5V72


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.428; min lat: 32.927 ; max long: -107.356; max lat: 32.982 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Michelle Hegmon ; Margaret C. Nelson

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Hegmon-et-al-2008-Social-Transformations_AA.pdf 1.03mb Aug 19, 2013 8:49:28 PM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America