Artifact-Based Measures for Scaling Research in the Rio Grande Pueblos

Author(s): Kaitlyn E. Davis; Scott Ortman

Year: 2017


Initial applications of settlement scaling theory focused on measures derived from the built environment, such as house density and settled area. Although this is appropriate, the theory actually focuses on the role of social networks in socioeconomic rates, and thus connects to a variety of artifact-based measures of such rates. In this paper, we develop these connections using data from the Rio Grande Pueblos of New Mexico. We first compare pueblo room areas to show that socioeconomic outputs increased with settlement population. Then, we examine ratios of decorated pottery to cooking pottery to show that consumption rates of decorated vessels increased in the same manner. Finally, we use the ratio of chipped stone debris to cooking pottery to measure investment in production of stone tools, finding an increased efficiency in their production and use. We argue that this pattern derives from an expansion in the division of labor that accompanies group size. By extending the scaling framework to artifact-based measures like these, our results show that there is a connection between social networks and artifact accumulation rates in ancient societies. This suggests the scaling framework is useful for understanding a wide array of measures obtainable from the archaeological record.

Cite this Record

Artifact-Based Measures for Scaling Research in the Rio Grande Pueblos. Kaitlyn E. Davis, Scott Ortman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429175)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14400