The Relationship between Violence and Geographic Origins at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico: Preliminary Results from Strontium Isotope Analyses
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 differentiation at the site. Unfortunately, the nature of violence at Casas Grandes is still poorly understood. As such, the primary objective of this pilot study is to determine whether violence was directed toward members of the local community or outsiders, such as immigrants or captives. We accomplish this by using strontium isotope analysis to examine the relationship between geographic origins and various osteological and mortuary variables. Our preliminary results indicate that 87Sr/86Sr values are not correlated with mortuary treatment, post-mortem processing, or trauma, though significant patterning by sex was observed. We discuss these results in the context of emerging complexity and inequality at the site and also highlight the strontium results from several distinctive burials, including potential human sacrifices, cannibalized remains, and various interments from an elite burial tomb.
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This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- Migration and Mobility in the New World
Cite this Record
The Relationship between Violence and Geographic Origins at Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico: Preliminary Results from Strontium Isotope Analyses. Adrianne Offenbecker, Jane H. Kelley, M. Anne Katzenberg. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395247)
North America - Southwest
min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;