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Selective Influence of West Mexico Cultural Traditions in the Onavas Valley, Sonora, Mexico

Author(s): James Watson ; Cristina Garcia-Moreno ; Danielle Phelps

Year: 2015

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Recent archaeological work at El Cementerio, a burial mound located in southeast Sonora, Mexico dated between AD 897 and 1635, has identified a local cultural tradition exhibiting selective influence from contemporaneous traditions in west Mexico. The vast majority of material culture reflects local manufacture and evolution, however, the presence of shell (from the Pacific Ocean) jewelry and the incorporation of biocultural practices of cranial deformation and dental modification suggest a link to populations further south in Sinaloa and Nayarit. Although the population of El Cementerio evolved within a local archaeological tradition, we consider the site to represent an example of the intense socio-cultural changes initiated around 700 AD and intensified during 900 AD in west Mexico. We also suggest that this population was actively managing their identity in response to these macro-regional influences by selectively adopting limited aspects of southern material culture practicing modification of their skulls and teeth.

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Selective Influence of West Mexico Cultural Traditions in the Onavas Valley, Sonora, Mexico. Danielle Phelps, Cristina Garcia-Moreno, James Watson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396242)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

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