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Pre-Columbian monumentalism and social structuration: geospatial modelling of relative accessibility as a proxy for emergent territoriality among the southern proto-Jê

Author(s): Phil Riris

Year: 2015

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Summary

How did southern proto-Jê mound and enclosure complexes (MECs) in the eastern La Plata basin structure their social landscapes? MECs possess a broad geographical distribution from the banks of the Rio Paraná to the Atlantic mountains of southern Brazil, as well as a variety of configurations, relative densities, and sizes. Discussions of their functions have emphasized their implications for the perception of social inclusion/exclusion among the groups that constructed them. Archaeological evidence from them has been linked to the emergence of kin-based socio-political hierarchies, based on commensal relations established through feasting practices.

To date, however, the effect and presence of MECs in their broader environmental settings has not been studied through formal and statistically robust spatial analytical techniques. This research employs simulation and modelling in order to enable the analysis of the relative accessibility of MECs, and, describe their relationship to their social environment in clearer terms. Ultimately, the goal will be to establish a framework within which competing hypotheses on the interpretation of the material record may be tested. The findings of the simulations are placed within the context of our archaeological understanding of pre-Columbian complexification and anthropological explorations of territoriality. Correlations with settlement data are also proposed.

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Pre-Columbian monumentalism and social structuration: geospatial modelling of relative accessibility as a proxy for emergent territoriality among the southern proto-Jê. Phil Riris. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395205)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
South America


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America