Social Diversity and Public Interaction Space in Classic and Postclassic Mimbres

Author(s): Rebecca Harkness

Year: 2015


In the Mimbres region of the US Southwest there is a substantial increase in the diversity of ceramic wares between the Classic (AD 1000-1130) to the Postclassic (AD 1250-1450) periods. As an increase in ceramic diversity could indicate the presence of a more diverse community, it is possible that Postclassic settlements would experience greater challenges in creating and maintaining social relationships within a settlement. Weissner (1983) suggests that people’s sense of predictability of others behavior can be contributed to similarities in material culture. I am interested in understanding whether the diversity indicated in the pottery is associated with efforts to manage social interactions. In this study I quantify the diversity of painted ceramics at Classic and Postclassic villages along with the extent of enclosure of plazas which are main areas of social interaction in the villages. Taking ceramic diversity as a measure of social diversity and potential social unrest, I expect that where ceramics are most diverse, plazas will be more enclosed such that people can observe each other on a day-to-day basis.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Social Diversity and Public Interaction Space in Classic and Postclassic Mimbres. Rebecca Harkness. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397983) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8QN6828

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Spatial Coverage

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

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