A Costly Signaling Model for Chacoan Great House Construction

Author(s): Kristin Safi

Year: 2017


Peer polity interaction has been suggested as a primary driver of interaction among communities with Chaco-style great houses. Unfortunately, the peer polity model lacks underlying theory and therefore using it to empirically examine the relationships between great house groups is difficult. We propose instead that costly signaling theory is a better framework for evaluating the construction of these monumental structures, the ritual or group level activities associated with their use, and patterns of interaction among great house communities. This presentation details where the model fits well with existing great house community data sets and where we are lacking crucial data lines necessary to develop more robust empirical tests for costly signaling as applied to the Chacoan Southwest, and to archaeological phenomena more broadly.

Cite this Record

A Costly Signaling Model for Chacoan Great House Construction. Kristin Safi. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429211)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16412