From Hohokam Archaeology to Narratives of the Ancient Hawaiian ‘State’

Author(s): James Bayman

Year: 2017


The analysis of material correlates to interpret cross-cultural variation in ancient political economies is a conventional and time-honored tradition in world archaeology. The material correlates that archaeologists use to gauge degrees of social stratification include evidence of subsistence intensification, hierarchical settlement patterns, craft specialization, large-scale monumentality, and differentiated mortuary programs. Ironically, recent claims for the rise of ancient states in the Hawaiian Islands confound prevailing models of political economy among the Hohokam in south-central Arizona. My comparison of Hohokam and Hawaiian archaeology reveals that although their material records were comparable in scale, many archaeologists have concluded that Hohokam society (unlike Hawaiian society) was governed by a marginally stratified non-state political economy. These findings challenge anthropological archaeologists to ponder the theoretical ramifications of relying on material correlates to construct cross-cultural models of ancient political economies.

Cite this Record

From Hohokam Archaeology to Narratives of the Ancient Hawaiian ‘State’. James Bayman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430949)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14465