Relatedness and Social Organization at the Ray Site (11BR104): Biological Distance Analysis of a Middle Woodland Ridge Top Cemetery

Author(s): Elissa Bullion; Jason King

Year: 2015


A considerable number of biodistance studies have been conducted on archaeological populations from the Lower Illinois Valley. Many of these have included groups of remains dating to the Middle Woodland Period (50BCE to 400CE), a period which has in the past gained attention for the elaboration of burial mound complexes, intensification of horticulture, as well as proliferation of "exotic" and intricately crafted artifacts. In the Lower Illinois Valley, this period is also characterized by the expansion of populations into previously uninhabited valleys. Questions of population expansion and genetic diversity have been explored at many sites in this region and time period, most focusing on non-metric trait analyses. In this study, a cemetery population from the Ray Site is reanalyzed with regards to biological distance in order to explore how it compares to other sites in the region in terms of intra-site levels of genetic diversity, male vs. female genetic diversity, and diversity between spatial burial clusters. Our results suggest a distinct genetic identity for this population compared to other Lower Illinois Valley sites. By combining biological distance analyses with spatial and material analyses, we also explore questions of social organization and residency patterns.

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Cite this Record

Relatedness and Social Organization at the Ray Site (11BR104): Biological Distance Analysis of a Middle Woodland Ridge Top Cemetery. Elissa Bullion, Jason King. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398182)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;